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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Pittsburgh Plate Glass Enamel Plant (Heritage Consulting Group, 2008)

Pittsburgh Plate Glass Enamel Plant (Heritage Consulting Group, 2008)

Pittsburgh Plate Glass Enamel Plant (Heritage Consulting Group, 2008)

Pittsburgh Plate Glass Enamel Plant
201 E Pittsburgh Avenue, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County
Architect: Eschweiler & Eschweiler
Date of construction: 1937

The Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) Enamel Plant is located in an industrial area approximately one mile south of downtown Milwaukee. It was constructed in 1937 as part of the expansion of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company Paint & Varnish Division. The new plant housed the enamel productions for the company. Production at the plant ceased in 1976.

The PPG Enamel Plant is an example of an Art Moderne style factory building designed by the noted Milwaukee architectural firm of Eschweiler & Eschweiler. The style came into popularity in the 1930s and was a celebration of industrialism and technology, featuring streamlined elements inspired from the industrial design of ships and airplanes. These buildings are devoid of historical references and feature smooth surfaces and curved corners that give the feeling that airstreams could move smoothly over them.

The firm of Eschweiler & Eschweiler designed a wide variety of buildings, including schools, commercial buildings, residences, club buildings, and industrial buildings. The 1930s and 1940s saw the firmís work expand into the Moderne style for various projects. Among notable examples is the John W. Mariner Building located at 411 E. Mason Street in downtown Milwaukee built in 1937 as an office building. Another is the WTMJ "Radio City" Building located at 720 E. Capitol Drive built in 1941. Elements of the Moderne are also seen in the McCulloch Engineering Building, designed by the firm in 1941. The McCulloch Engineering Building and the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company commission are two of four examples of industrial projects used to illustrate the firm's 50th anniversary monograph.

The building has been converted to retail and offices using federal tax incentives.

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