Following an extensive four-year renovation, the building is now home to The Block apartments and two event spaces, The George ballroom and the Madcap Lounge. Partners David Herro, Jay Franke and Michael Morrison recognized the "rambunctious spirit beneath the rubble" and set out to preserve a piece of Milwaukee's history.
The Walker’s Point Historic District is a mix of residential, commercial and industrial areas. The working class roots of Milwaukee are evident in this eclectic display of use and architectural style, making Walker’s Point a unique example of a 19th-century urban neighborhood. The National Block building occupies one of the most prominent corners in the district.
National Block is a surviving example of Italianate architecture, a popular style for commercial construction from 1850 through 1900. The intricate embellishments on the façade, intact after 140+ years, are a testament to the craftsmanship of the masons who worked on the building. Even though their individual contributions are not recorded, this ‘public art’ is accessible to all.
Norwegian immigrant and prolific architect Andrew Elleson designed the building. Several examples of his work, including two Lutheran churches and an impressive Victorian Gothic building, stand within a three-block radius of National Block. Each one of the buildings is constructed using Cream City brick, a material unique to this region owing to the lacustrine clay formed by lake deposits.
DOORS OPEN EXPERIENCE
Guided tours of the building will be offered during Doors Open. Visitors will have an opportunity to view the gallery of regional art throughout the ballroom and lounge. They can also stop to read the detailed history of the building and, weather permitting, see the surrounding cityscape from the rooftop.
429 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI, USA
10 am - 5 pm
Photography, Video, Tripods Permitted