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7519-7529 W BECHER ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

7519-7529 W BECHER ST

Architecture and History Inventory
7519-7529 W BECHER ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:ORIGINAL MERTZ BLOCK
Other Name:FLIPPOS PIZZA
Contributing:
Reference Number:9193
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):7519-7529 W BECHER ST
County:Milwaukee
City:West Allis
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1929
Additions:
Survey Date:20072020
Historic Use:retail building
Architectural Style:Spanish/Mediterranean Styles
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
NATIONAL AND STATE REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
National/State Register Listing Name:Not listed
National Register Listing Date:
State Register Listing Date:
NOTES
Additional Information:SHAPED GABLE OVER ENTRY PROJECTING THROUGH ROOF. 3 STORY SQUARE TOWER ON CNR. TWISTED COLUMNS FORM ARCADE AROUND STOREFRONT AND ENTRY. TRANSOMS IN STOREFRONT.

This two-story, Mediterranean Revival-style commercial block is anchored at each end by slightly taller, tower-like elements that have no roof. The second-floor windows of these towers feature a terra cotta surround with scroll ornamentation below them, while the upper half-story includes (on two sides) a triple-arch opening separated by twisted columns and a decorative ironwork railing. As late as 1980, photos indicated that the uppermost edge of these towers were adorned with terra cotta urn-like ornamentation. A pent roof tops the structure and is covered with multi-colored barrel tile, while exposed rafter tails accent the underside of the pent. Along W. Becher Street, six storefront openings are trimmed with terra cotta twisted columns, while a central opening, also trimmed with terra cotta, is located at the center. This central section, which provides access to the second-floor apartments, terminates as a shaped parapet, which includes a raised urn ornament. The second level of this space includes two round-arched openings separated by another twisted column; a metal balconet rests beneath the windows. Windows along the second floor are regularly spaced, rectangular examples with six-over-one-light sashes. The S. 76th Street facade is less ornate; however, it does include three, terra cotta-trimmed, storefront divisions, as well as a balconet along the second level. Three of the storefront openings have been infilled with stucco, while two openings (along S. 76th Street) appear to have always been infilled with brick.

This six-store, eight-apartment, brick-faced building was built in 1929 by Henry Mertz and is known as the Mertz Block. The approximate cost of the structure was cited as $36,000. The first store occupants of the building included Henry Mertz (meats); the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.; Adam Henrich (baker); Conrad Urbanowski (hardware); Henry Mertz (real estate); and the Atwood Pharmacy. Today, at least two of the storefronts appear to stand vacant.

Previously surveyed in 1980.

Permit cites John Hempler as the mason, Joe Koth as the carpenter and the approximate cost was estimated as $36,000. The owner was Henry Mertz. Originally the building included 6 stores and 8 apartments. Update photograph submitted in 2007.

2020: "This two-story, brick, Mediterranean Revival style commercial building (Figures 3 and 4) was built in 1929. The primary elevation is symmetrical in composition with tower-like elements anchoring each end of the façade. A slanted parapet roof clad in clay tiles connects each end tower to a decorative gable centered on the facade. The towers are identical in design, each containing triple-arch openings framed by twisted columns and paired six-over-one sash windows with decorative stone enframement below. The central tower houses a recessed entryway also framed by twisted columns. The second story is partially clad in tile with a small decorative balcony in front of two arched window openings. A decorative stone urn is applied to the stone capped central pediment. The second story primarily consists of banks of two and three window openings with replacement six-over-one wood sash windows. Original storefronts contain leaded glass transoms, floor to ceiling display windows, and central recessed entrances. Numerous openings have been infilled with either brick or stucco, altering the appearance and configuration of much of the two principal storefront level elevations. The building still houses several commercial businesses and apartment units above."
Bibliographic References:Permit dated 14 May 1929. Original permit for 7519-7529 W. Becher Street, dated 14 May 1929. Permit cites John Hempler as the mason and Joe Koth as the carpenter; West Allis City Directory, 1932.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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