Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

1630 E ROYALL PL.

Architecture and History Inventory
1630 E ROYALL PL. | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Allis, Charles, House
Other Name:Charles Allis Art Library
Contributing:
Reference Number:16276
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):1630 E ROYALL PL.
County:Milwaukee
City:Milwaukee
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1909
Additions:
Survey Date:19862010
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Tudor Revival
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Eschweiler, Alexander C.
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Allis, Charles, House
National Register Listing Date:1/17/1975
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:HABS.

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 Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation-Public History.

Resurveyed as part of Milwaukee Downtown Connector Arch/History Survey (2010), Prepared by Heritage Research.

The dignified but austere exterior of this mansion relies very little on ornament or stylistic detail. Instead, it emphasizes careful attention to massing brick, sandstone, and other building materials. Eschweiler's rendition of the Neo-Tudor mode is executed with almost obsessive restraint. Only plain limestone dressings interrupt the dark brick walls.

This spare exterior does nothing to prepare visitors for the sumptuous, nearly intact interior features marble and alabaster fittings, hand-rubbed mahogany woodwork, English-style ornamental plasterwork, and a magnificent hand-wrought bronze staircase balustrade. In 1946, the building became a museum displaying the Allis family's Asian porcelain, bronze sculptures, paintings, and antique furniture.

State-of-the-art technology went into its construction. It is said that owner Charles Allis intended his mansion to become an art museum after his death, so to protect his collection for the ages, he requested a fireproof structure. The brick and stone walls conceal a steel frame, the floors are poured concrete and the foundation rests on fifty-foot-deep piles. The house reflects the same industrial mentality that Charles Allis applied to his business, the Allis-Chalmers Company, one of the world's largest heavy machinery manufacturers.
Bibliographic References:Inscription. Permit. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/9/1997. Zimmermann. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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