First completed in 1920, the five-story red and cream-city brick building was once home to the Milwaukee Paper Box Company, a light manufacturer of intricate candy boxes. Sherman Associates saw a great opportunity to transform it into affordable housing for working families while preserving its historic structure. Already on the National Register of Historic Places, Continuum’s role was to create a design that was sensitive to the original industrial-style architecture, honor the building’s former function, and meet the community’s housing needs. Collaborating with a historical consultant, Continuum submitted the complete package with construction drawings to the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service.
The renovation created 72 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with an emphasis on two- and three-bedroom family units. Existing fenestration with generous spans of glazing allow for open, light-filled apartments with access to views and fresh air on every floor. The interior floor plate is very deep, so the apartments were positioned around the outer perimeter to create space for lounges, common spaces, storage, and utility rooms. Also included are a community room and children’s play area, as well as indoor and outdoor parking.
Mayor’s Design Award, Milwaukee, 2006