Historic Structures

Mitchell Building, Milwaukee Wisconsin

Date added: November 15, 2009 Categories: Wisconsin Commercial

This building was designed by Edward Townsend Mix (1831-1890) and was erected in 1876 for Alexander Mitchell, a Milwaukee banker. Mitchell, with George Smith, founded the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company, which was incorporated under the Wisconsin territorial government in 1839. This company was reincorporated in 1846 under the new State Banking law as a Marine National Bank. The Marine Bank occupied the site in 1846 and occupied this building from the time of its erection in 1876 until 1930.

The site is presumed to have been the location of the residence of Solomon Juneau, the trader who founded Milwaukee about the 1830's.

This heavily ornamented structure, as representative of commercial building in this period, is typically eclectic; it shows strong similarities to the architectural style of the Second Empire period in France, but with unusual and original treatment of some of the ornamental detail. The building is Stone, 122' (seven bays) on Michigan Avenue, 80' (five bays) on West Water Street, elevated basement, four stories plus fifth-story attic in mansard roof with dormers, slightly projecting center bay one story higher to form low tower, comer pavillions, basement and first story rusticated, upper stories heavily ordered, cornices between first and second, third and fourth, and fourth and fifth stories.