George Watts & Son’s Renovation / Milwaukee, WI

The George Watts & Sons building is a landmark building in Milwaukee’s East Side Commercial District. For over nine decades, the George Watts & Sons building was synonymous with fine crystal and china, and renowned throughout the Milwaukee community for serving James Beard-worthy Sunshine Cake. In 2016, the Watt family closed its doors permanently. As the building’s newest owners and tenants, Continuum Architects + Planners have made a commitment to preserve the original 1925 structure and have renovated the interior spaces to house their new offices, and retain the building’s two existing tenants, DeLind Fine Arts and Kessler’s Diamonds. 

Continuum has a passion for the renovation and rehabilitation of Milwaukee’s rich historic building stock. As part of the renovation, Continuum renovated the building’s main lobby, which now doubles as gallery and exhibit space for DeLind Fine Arts, updated the core building systems, and made repairs to damage to its ornate terracotta exterior. While the exterior of this landmark building remains as the original architects designed it, the interior of the second floor now features modern office workspaces for 17 architects, a newly renovated cafe/kitchen space, two conference rooms, and two smaller collaboration spaces. 

Continuum also designed exhibit space within their second floor office to display historical relics from the Plankinton Mansion, (demolished in 1980), including a hand-carved wood stair rail, a conference table built from two of the mansion’s parlor doors, and ornate ironwork that framed the fireplaces of the mansion. 

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