The original two story building was built in 1887 as a tavern, which had a German name, now unknown. The one story addition where the gallery and performance space is located was constructed in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. From 1978 – 1984, the building was the site of the Milwaukee Jazz Gallery. On their stage, some of the greatest artists in the history of jazz performed, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Dexter Gordan and Stan Getz. It also hosted such diverse local talents as Paul Cebar, the Violent Femmes and Theater X. It fell into disrepair over the years until it was purchased in 2008 by the Riverwest Artists Association as a gallery and community center. Musicians clamored to play on the storied stage, starting a music program in 2011.