Iversen’s Store on Water and Mason Streets
A "stereoview" by famed photographer H.H. Bennett captures Water Street in the 1870s or 1880s.
The vast majority of stereoviews of Milwaukee were produced in the 1870s and the 1880s. For those unfamiliar with the term, a stereo was a pair of photographs taken by a special camera so that when mounted on a board and viewed through a stereopticon an illusion of a 3-D effect was created. Nationally these viewers remained popular for home entertainment through World War I, before being supplanted by such new media as radio and movies. It was not unlike the fate of VHS and Betamax in more recent decades.
In Milwaukee Bennett needed a retail outlet as he ultimately would produce over 200 views of the city during the period of mid 1870s to the late 1880s. His retail outlet was the J.C. Iversen & Co store located at 425 and 427 East Water St. East Water is today’s Water St. and the store, as seen in this photograph, was located on the west side of Water St., just south of Mason St. Bennett’s Milwaukee views were very different from the naturalistic photography of the dells and his best views of Milwaukee are highly prized today. Expect to see many of them here in the future.
Today the location is occupied by the Daniel Burnham designed City Center at 735 (previously known as the First Wisconsin National Bank building).
Jeff Beutner is a collector of photographs, postcards and stereoviews of old Milwaukee. This column features these images, with historical commentary by Beutner.
Dec 17th, 2014 by Jeff Beutner
The modest skyline at the time was also dominated by St. John's Cathedral, before its first tower was replaced.
Dec 9th, 2014 by Jeff Beutner
The dirt street where the new courthouse was located was mostly residential or empty. That would change quickly.
Dec 4th, 2014 by Jeff Beutner
It was built by architect Leonard Schmidtner, who also built St. Stanislaus church. His courthouse would stand for 66 years.
Nov 26th, 2014 by Jeff Beutner
The courthouse was built in 1872 where Cathedral Square now stands, but only after sticky legal situation was finessed.
Nov 19th, 2014 by Jeff Beutner
The intersection of Water and Mason streets was once Market Square, the civic and commercial heart of the city.
Nov 12th, 2014 by Jeff Beutner
Considered the finest structure of its kind in America, it still stands today at the Wisconsin Club.