1220 W VLIET ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
1220 W VLIET ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Schuster's Department Store
Other Name:Milwaukee County Social Services
Reference Number:78966
Location (Address):1220 W VLIET ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1910
Additions: 1923
Survey Date:199320152022
Historic Use:department store
Architectural Style:Neoclassical
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Brust & Philipp (1910 & 1923 architects)
Other Buildings On Site:N
Demolished Date:
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 Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation-Public History. ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE: Good example of early 20th century commercial block in nearly original condition. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Schuster's Dry Goods Store began on 3rd Street in 1884 and became one of Milwaukee's leading department stores. F.W. Schuster & Co. hired in 1910 the architectural firm of Brust & Philipp to design this department store, as well as in 1923 for a major addition. Schuster’s originally opened in 1884 at N. 3rd and Garfield streets and in 1894 opened a second store at N. 12th and Walnut streets. The subject building replaced the Walnut Street location and coincided with the opening of a third store on W. Mitchell Street. Schuster’s operated in neighborhood shopping districts and did not have a downtown location. As a result of Schuster’s, this portion of Vliet Street emerged as one of Milwaukee’s chief neighborhood shopping hubs. The Vliet Street Schuster’s closed in 1961 and remaining stores were taken over by Gimbel’s the next year. The Milwaukee County Department of Welfare obtained the building in 1963 and enclosed all first-floor storefront windows and downsized those on the upper floors. Currently known as the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center, it has been divided into modern office space and recently had many of its 1963 window alterations reopened to their original size, albeit with modern plate-glass examples. *2022 - Resurvey by HRL for WisDOT project. Little or no change since 2015.
Bibliographic References:1923 City Directory. 1911 City Directory. “Tiny Store Grows into 3,” Milwaukee Sentinel, 11 April 1948 “Schuster’s on 12th to Close,” Milwaukee Sentinel, 29 December 1960.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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