COVID-19 Updates: The Wisconsin Historical Society hours have changed. See a full list of COVID-19 Closures and Events HERE.

1339 N MILWAUKEE ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
1339 N MILWAUKEE ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Gugler Lithographic Co.
Other Name:Milwaukee Center for Independence
Reference Number:116559
Location (Address):1339 N MILWAUKEE ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1896
Additions: 1908 1918 1927 1905
Survey Date:2000
Historic Use:industrial building
Architectural Style:Gothic Revival
Structural System:
Wall Material:Cream Brick
Architect:Otto Strack-1896
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:2006
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation. ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE:

This structure is representative of late 19th century industrial buildings designed for their functional and utilitarian use with added touches of Medieval decoration. Diagram on survey dated 6-19-79 shows varios periods of construction.

Construction date, 1896, 1910, 1927. (1)

This property includes at least three periods of building; the earliest section of which is located at the corner of N.
Broadway and Ogden and dates to 1896. This original brick block prominently displays a castellated parapet along
N. Broadway Avenue, with tower-like units anchoring the building on both the north and south. Such medieval
inspiration is the cornerstone of German-inspired ethnic architecture, or what we know today as the German
Renaissance Revival style. Windows of the structure are regularly placed and the majority of the first-floor openings
maintain their multiple-light panes. Although not necessarily architecturally compatible with the original block, the
1927 addition (fronting on N. Milwaukee Street) features Neo-Classical elements such as cut-stone trim, a round-arched
entryway and multiple-light fenestration. In addition, incised stone insets feature elements associated with the
printing/lithography business. Aside from the 1910 and 1927 additions to the complex, exterior alterations appear to
be limited to fenestration.

Henry Gugler began his Milwaukee career in lithography in 1871, joining the firm of Seifert & Lawton. Siefert had
established himself in Milwaukee as a printer and engraver as early as 1852. By 1872, Lawton had left the firm and
the concern was then renamed Siefert, Gugler & Co; it was comprised of Siefert, Gugler and Gugler's son, Julius. By
1877, George Schoeffel joined the partnership as the firm's business manager. The following year, the Guglers left
the Seifert concern to begin H. Gugler & Son, lithographers. In 1896, the Pabst Brewing Company took a permit out
to erect a three-story, $30,000 lithographic institution and employed Otto Strack for its design. Strack had been the
supervising architect for the Pabst Brewing Co. from 1888 until 1892; however, he continued to design various
projects for the brewery well into the 1890s. The Gugler Lithographic Co. continued in business at the subject location
until 1974 when the firm relocated to a new building in suburban Brown Deer. Thereafter, the structure was utilized
by Jewish Vocational Services from 1975 into the 1980s. The complex is currently home to the Milwaukee Center
for Independence.

Designed by Otto Strack, the subject structure features a crenelated parapet and corner towers and stands as a very
good example of ethnic German architecture. Therefore, the subject facility is potentially eligible under Criterion C,
notwithstanding the Neo-Classical, 1927 addition to the east. Regarding Criterion A, the Gugler Lithographic Co.,
established in 1878, appears to have been one of the city's most long-standing companies of its type. In fact, further
investigation may prove that the Gugler's successor company remains in business today. As well, the Pabst Brewing
Co.'s connection with the Gugler enterprise deserves further study.


A leading lithographic firm founded by Henry Gugler that specialized in color work, show cards, posters, and stationery.
Bibliographic References:1. Sanborn-Perris Maps.--Milwaukee 1910, Vol. 1, pl. 40. 2. "Milwaukee, A Half-Century of Progress", 1846-96, p. 178. Building permit.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

Have Questions?

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

If you have an update, correction, or addition to a record, please include this in your message:

  • AHI number
  • Information to be added or changed
  • Source information

Note: When providing a historical fact, such as the story of a historic event or the name of an architect, be sure to list your sources. We will only create or update a property record if we can verify a submission is factual and accurate.

How to Cite

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

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory Citation
Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".