Piecing Together The Past

Last year I was browsing the Library of Congress website doing research on some of their photographic collections of Milwaukee material. I was already familiar with the work of John Vachon, a Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographer who had spent some time in Milwaukee in September 1939 and was browsing his work. Some of the catalogued pictures had no descriptions but obviously were from the same date as other pictures from Milwaukee. This one in particular intrigued me because it was a Milwaukee-style building but I did not recognize it at all.

It stayed in the back of mind for months but it was a building that was long lost or from somewhere else. Today while looking through some images I have scanned from other sources I came across this picture and recognized it almost immediately. It was the mystery building right in the heart of downtown! I still have yet to piece together the history of the lost building but now I have an address which is a start.

Sometime in the 1960s it was torn down to make way for this nondescript parking structure.


Comment (1)

  1. Dear Yance,

    This is such an amazing find! What a beautiful structure. It’s these types of building, even if they are small, that really trouble me to know that they are demolished and erased from memory. Thankfully, old books and photographs help us retrieve some info.

    I spent several hours last night trying to find information on this building. No luck. Today, I went to the Central Public Library. Within minutes of browsing in the 720 MKE architecture history section, I found some information on the building!! I am startled by how easily to popped up.

    On page 6 of this petite, but loaded with information book: Milwaukee, Ethnic Commercial and Public Buildings Tour, it features an image of the building with the following info: A. Meinecke Building, 791 N. Milwaukee St., built 1889, razed 1966.

    To take a look yourself, the call number is 720.977595 M663.


Leave a Reply