11700 W CAPITOL DR | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

11700 W CAPITOL DR

Architecture and History Inventory
11700 W CAPITOL DR | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:A.O. SMITH PROPELLER FACTORY
Other Name:HARLEY DAVIDSON
Contributing:
Reference Number:233306
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):11700 W CAPITOL DR
County:Milwaukee
City:Wauwatosa
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1942
Additions: 1947 1958 1973 1983
Survey Date:2016
Historic Use:industrial building
Architectural Style:Astylistic Utilitarian Building
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
NOTES
Additional Information:A.O. Smith Company was incorporated in 1904 as a producer of automobile frames and proceeded to become the largest producer of automobile and airplane frames and water heaters in the United States during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. They also produced small motors and metal farm silos. During World War II, the company played a large part in wartime manufacturing including establishing a large propeller manufacturing plant in what would become Wauwatosa in 1942. After the end of the war the plant was no longer needed and was sold to Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 1947 as the main machine shop site for the Milwaukee based motorcycle manufacturer. Harley Davidson expanded and renovated the plant numerous times in 1958, 1973, 1984, and 1997. In 2012, much of the former manufacturing plant was sold to U-Haul Self-Storage.
Bibliographic References:‘History,’ A.O. Smith website. <www.aosmith.com/About/History/> accessed January 27, 2017. “Urban spelunking: Uncovering a WWII "Easter egg," On Milwaukee website. <onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/lost-ww2-propeller-uncovered.html> accessed January 18, 2017. Mead & Hunt. Milwaukee Industrial Properties Intensive Survey. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Historical Society, 2016.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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