COVID-19 Updates: In order to help reduce the increased spread of COVID-19, our headquarters building will be closed to the public until at least February 8, 2021. Click here for more information.

6771 W NATIONAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
6771 W NATIONAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Gerlinger Electrical Steel Casting Co.
Other Name:Milwaukee Ductile Iron
Reference Number:9247
Location (Address):6771 W NATIONAL AVE
City:West Allis
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1918
Additions:C. 1930 1937C. 1938
Survey Date:2007
Historic Use:industrial building
Architectural Style:Astylistic Utilitarian Building
Structural System:
Wall Material:Aluminum/Vinyl Siding
Other Buildings On Site:
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, State Historic Preservation Office.

The Kearney and Trecker Co. operated in this building from 1901-1975. This company was founded in 1898 by E.J. Kearney and Theodore Trecker. It grew from a two man shop to a position of international fame as a manufacturer of precision machine tools. Their first shop was in rented quarters on Clinton St. in Milwaukee. This space was soon outgrown and the two men looked for land in West Allis where an industrial boom was underway, sparked by the Allis Chalmers factory. Land was acquired on National Ave. from the Central Improvement Co. that abutted the rail beltway and a simple industrial shop with saw-tooth monitors was erected. This building had the capability of being radically expanded, and fortunately so, for expansion and remodeling was an almost continuous activity for the next 50 years.

Previously surveyed in 1980 and identified as an original building of Kearney & Trecker. However, upon review of Sanborn maps in 2007, this building was not built by 1910, but does appear on the 1927 map. On that 1927 map, the building is on the property identified as the Gerlinger Electrical Steel Casting Company complex. However, by no later than the 1932 city directory, this property is indeed identified as Plant #2 of Kearney & Trecker Corp. Today (2007), this building is entirely sheathed with corrugated metal. An update photo is provided; however, based on its exterior appearance, it no longer meets survey standards.
Bibliographic References:Burbach, Julius, West Allis, "A City of Marvelous Growth", (n.p., n.d.) p. 63. Burbach, Julius, History of West Allis, West Allis, 1927, p. 85, 87, 89. West Allis Star 8/18/1919. West Allis Star 6/12/1952.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the record you were looking for, or have other questions about historic preservation, please email us and we can help:

If you have an update, correction, or addition to a record, please include this in your message:

  • AHI number
  • Information to be added or changed
  • Source information

Note: When providing a historical fact, such as the story of a historic event or the name of an architect, be sure to list your sources. We will only create or update a property record if we can verify a submission is factual and accurate.

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory Citation
Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".