Located in the Walker’s Point Historic District on the intersection of National Ave. and 5th St., National Block is a 130 year old building historically used as a rooming house. The building was condemned by the City of Milwaukee and a raze order was issued on the building due to heavily deteriorated conditions. Interest in the neighborhood and the vision to maintain the historic and eclectic quality of Walker’s Point spurred the client into renovating this derelict building. The mixed use building will include retail on the first level and a total of 12 market rate residential units on the 3 floors above.
Retail spaces are characterized by the historical decorative wood ceiling and large expanses of storefront that foster a dialogue between the inside and outside. Each residential unit is unique in layout and remains rooted in history through historic features such as wood floors, windows and decorative corridors. As an amenity for the residents a portion of the roof will be removed to convert the attic space into a roof top deck. The deck with its expansive views is a place of calm, and provides much needed respite from the energetic neighborhood below.
National Block is a fine surviving example of the Italianate Style of commercial buildings with extremely intricate brick embellishments that are intact even after 130 years. Renovations to this derelict building will revitalize a major intersection within the Walker’s Point district and will be a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of its time. This ‘public art’ can contribute greatly to the creative district envisioned by the Walker’s Point Strategic Action Plan.
The Milwaukee Business Journal recently featured the project.