The Norris Garage

On North 19th Street, just north of Wisconsin Avenue lies a building that is the home of Channel 12. It has a modern appearance but at the core of the building remains a garage and stable that was built over 100 years ago for the estate of Charles Norris which was located on Grand Avenue next to the Pabst Family mansion. The Norris family were known for their business which provided provisions for ships in 19th century Milwaukee. Charles married the daughter of Daniel Wells Jr.

The stable was built in 1909 by H.C. Koch & Son, the architect of Milwaukee’s City Hall. Obviously this was one of his smaller projects. A description of the stable from the Western Builder of October 1909 is as follows:

We publish a photograph of the fireproof horse barn and automobile garage recently completed for Mr. Chas. W. Norris, 1906 Grand avenue, Milwaukee. The building was designed by Architects H. C. Koch & Son and was built by S. J. Brockman, all of Milwaukee.

Concrete is used liberally in the construction. The floors and roof are of reinforced concrete, the reinforcement of the roof being furnished by the Trussed Concrete Steel Co., of Detroit. Steel roof trusses are also used as roof supports. The walls are brick and hollow tile plastered on the outside with white cement. Green tiles serve as roof covering. There is no wood in the building excepting the doors, windows and harness cases. The general dimensions are 81×46. There is electricity, a small hot water heater and plumbing.

The conveniences include space for six or seven autos and horse carriages, a large washroom, three box stalls and two smaller ones, a hayloft, and in the basement a place for chickens, dog kennels, etc. Among the sub-contractors were Biersch & Niedermeyer, tile roofers, and Dearsley Bros., plumbers.

The view from the south parking lot shows the building as it now appears. Although much changed and added onto the original structure still can be seen. Now the real question is whether there are still chickens kept in the basement?

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