1560 West Pierce Street | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

1560 West Pierce Street

National or State Register of Historic Places
1560 West Pierce Street | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Milwaukee Paper Box Company
Reference Number:13000956
Location (Address):1560 West Pierce Street
Milwaukee Paper Box Company
1560 West Pierce Street, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County
Architect: Schnetzky and Son
Date of Construction: 1920

In the early twentieth century, the Milwaukee Paper Box Company grew alongside one of Milwaukee's sweetest industries - candy making. Many know Milwaukee for its historic breweries and meat-packing industries, but the confectionery industry reflects the city's romantic side.

Milwaukee's finely wrapped candies and chocolates were shipped globally, and confectionery manufacturing became a multi-million-dollar industry. This was largely due to rapid industrialization, but there was a cultural aspect as well. Gifting delicate sweet treats was an important element of the Victorian-era mating ritual. As dessert historian Michael Krondl relates in Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert: "There was an intriguing similarity between the elaborately enrobed boxes of candy and the layers of lace, crinoline, and silk that concealed the wooer's presumed prize." Savvy confectioners knew that attractive packaging sold more candy, and savvy box makers manufactured attractive packages.

Founded in 1905, the Milwaukee Paper Box Company distinguished itself as a maker of "candy packages of distinctive design", according to one of its advertisements. The company employed artists to fashion its signature "Brain Built Boxes", and orders for the packages came from as far as China. Building a new five-story factory at 1560 West Pierce Street in 1920 marked the pinnacle of the company's success. It was considered an "ideal facility" with a layout carefully arranged by president Walter C. Carlso, who had been involved in container manufacturing since his youth. The success of the new factory was short-lived however, as the confectionery industry began to wane during the 1920s and 1930s. The Milwaukee Paper Box Company closed its doors in 1938, but its factory on West Pierce Street stands as a reminder of Milwaukee's sweet industrial heritage.

Period of Significance:1920-1938
Area of Significance:Industry
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Industry/Processing/Extraction: Manufacturing Facility
Architectural Style:Commercial Style
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Schnetzky and Son
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
National Register Listing Date:12/18/2013
State Register Listing Date:08/23/2013
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

National Register of Historic Places Citation
National Register of Historic Places, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the National Register listing you were looking for or have other questions about the National Register, please email us and we can help: