Plankinton Arcade, 1925
The Plankinton Arcade sits on the site of the former Plankinton House Hotel.
In 1915 the Plankinton House hotel, located at what is now the corner of Wisconsin and Plankinton avenues, was razed and moved to a new location just to the south. It would remain in business for many years until it was demolished to be replaced by a parking garage for the Grand Avenue complex.
A two-story structure would prove too modest for this piece of prime real estate. In 1924 a five-story addition of offices would be constructed above the arcade. The architects were the legendary Chicago firm of Holabird & Roche and the exterior would be of the same glazed white terracotta. This 1925 photograph shows the addition in its final construction phase. The Plankinton remains a fine example of downtown architecture complete with a statue of John Plankinton in the heart of the rotunda.
Jeff Beutner is a collector of photographs, postcards and stereoviews of old Milwaukee. This column features these images, with historical commentary by Beutner.