East Town and Second Courthouse, 1875
The modest skyline at the time was also dominated by St. John's Cathedral, before its first tower was replaced.
Milwaukee’s second courthouse, completed in 1873, also shared the modest skyline with churches. This is a view, circa 1875, most likely taken from the top of the Northwestern Insurance building which then was located at the northwest corner of Wisconsin and Broadway. This was the tallest building east of the Milwaukee River at that time. This stereoview looks to the northeast. The courthouse is to the left and to its right is St. John’s Cathedral.
The photographer for this stereoview was William H. Sherman, who was one of the most prolific photographers of the city, as I’ve previously written. Sherman took a nearly identical view a few years earlier before the Presbyterian church was replaced by the carriage works and when the building in the foreground, C.R. Jones Merchant Tailor, was occupied by the Wadsworth & Co. tea importers. Businesses would relocate frequently back then, and Sherman’s photographs helped document those changes.
Jeff Beutner is a collector of photographs, postcards and stereoviews of old Milwaukee. This column features these images, with historical commentary by Beutner.