The Mayor’s Design Awards are presented in an ongoing effort to recognize design excellence throughout the City of Milwaukee. Recipients have added value to their neighborhoods by restoring, constructing or enhancing their properties in a way that respects the urban fabric and contributes to the character of their surroundings.
The National Block sits on a prominent corner of two commercial streets in Milwaukee’s Walkers Point. Made up of three masonry buildings built in 1882, it was constructed in the Italianate Stye and remains one of its best surviving examples. Historically, the four-story building with its decorative façade, large retail storefront, and mercantile above created a grand street presence. Over the years, the buildings fell into severe disrepair with water and fire damage, mold infestation, and failing structure. In 2016, the City of Milwaukee condemned the building and put out a raze order. However, developer Michael Morrison of True, Inc. instead set out to save and remodel it into what is today: a boutique event space, and new market rate apartments with a rooftop deck. The revitalization was a massive undertaking, with every corner of the building painstakingly crafted and rehabilitated to preserve its historic character and integrity. A completely new steel structural system had to be inserted into the building, and the historic storefront along the streets was replaced with solid walls, redefining the character of the building and street.
Learn more about this project here.