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504 W NATIONAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
504 W NATIONAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Other Name:
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:42017
Location (Address):504 W NATIONAL AVE
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1901
Survey Date:19881973
Historic Use:tavern/bar
Architectural Style:Neoclassical
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Charles Kirchhoff
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Walker's Point Historic District
National Register Listing Date:12/19/1978
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:Covenant/Easement: From 12/26/1990 to 12/26/2010. A 'covenant file' exists for this property. It may contain additional information such as photos, drawings and correspondence. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office.

1973: "Despite alteration to the first story, this building is till a rather impressive example of the Neo-Renaissance style, and it was the work of a prominent local architect. In the beginning the north end of the building housed a beer garden operated by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, and the Schlitz emblem is still to be seen above the Fifth Street entrance.

Alterations and Additions (as of 1973):
As indicated, the street fronts on the first story have been altered. And according to Sandy Burns, there are no less than thirteen permits on file at the General Office, Building Inspection, relating to interior remodeling."

A Guide to Historic Walker's Point, 1978: "Built of pressed brick and Bedford limestone trim by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, this 100 by 120 feet, Classical-styled building housed, besides the Palm Garden, a barbershop, bowling alley, shops, and offices.

The Palm Garden, 34 by 49 feet at the north end of the building, served food and, of course, beer, and was a dance hall. According to contemporary accounts, the palm garden had entry on Grove Street, and was a room 30 feet in height, having tile flooring, hand-carved ornament, cathedral glass, and an arched, beamed ceiling. Beneath the dome were murals depicting a tropical scene. The architect of the building, Charles Kirchoff, was also the architect of the famous Schlitz Palm Garden in downtown Milwaukee, now demolished."

"Milwaukee beer gardens of the 1840's were pleasant open-air restaurants were family groups spent summer evenings listening to music and drinking beer. But the breweries operating them realized that evenings warm enough to sit outdoors were too few in our climate and began to replace the beer gardens with indoor palm gardens. These were opulently decorated with giant murals providing a romantic background of palm trees and brilliant sunsets. Above the south 5th street entrance to this one-time palm garden is the Schlitz trademark, indicating that this brewery built and owned the building. The period 1870-1910 saw the development of this area as an important south side business district, and, as their inscriptions and styles reveal, many other commercial buildings still serving the neighborhood date from these decades. At the turn of the century, South 5th (then Grove Street) was also the site of the festive Jahrmarkt. Local merchants sponsored this annual late-summer fair, which featured a farmer's market with side-walk stands and booths as well as circuses and menageries, carousels, and brass band concerts." Pagel, Mary Ellen & Virginia A. Palmer, University Extension University of Wisconsin, Guides to Historic Milwaukee: Walker's Point and South, 1969.
Bibliographic References:MILWAUKEE JOURNAL 5/16/1901. MILWAUKEE HISTORIC BUILDINGS TOUR: WALKER'S POINT (COMMERCIAL), CITY OF MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT OF CITY DEVELOPMENT, 1994. Pagel, p. 6. Burns, Sandy, "Tivoli Palm Garden," Walker's Point Preservation District Inventory prepared for Land Ethics, Inc., Milwaukee, 1971, and sources cited. "New Palm Garden on Grove Street," Milwaukee Journal, May 16, 1901, p. 8. Pagel, Mary Ellen and Palmer, Virginia A., Guides to Historic Milwaukee: Walker's Point and South, Milwaukee, 1969, 6-7. Palmer, Virginia A. and Wietczykowski, Mary Ellen, Walker's Point: Two Walking tours, Milwaukee, 1972, 31. Palmer, Virginia A., Undated research notes in the collection of Mary Ellen Wietczykowski. Historic Walker's Point, Inc., A Guide to Historic Walker's Point, 1978. Pagel, Mary Ellen & Virginia A. Palmer, University Extension University of Wisconsin, Guides to Historic Milwaukee: Walker's Point and South, 1969.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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