Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Church Will Replace RedLine Gallery

Christ Church plans to buy Haymarket building.

By - Jun 22nd, 2021 10:15 am
1422 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. Photo taken June 22nd, 2021 by Jeramey Jannene.

1422 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. Photo taken June 22nd, 2021 by Jeramey Jannene.

An art gallery is slated to become a church.

But that’s just the latest change for a 105-year-old building in Milwaukee’s Haymarket neighborhood.

Built in 1916, the two-story, 22,500-square-foot building at 1422 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. spent more than three decades as home to Philip Lithography. After that, the silkscreen firm Selling Aids Inc. and corporate display designer Weidig Display Co. moved in. Later it was used as storage space for restaurant equipment.

RedLine, an art gallery and studio space, opened in the building in 2009. Created by Steve Vande Zande and Lori Bauman, the nonprofit became an incubator for Milwaukee’s arts community. But the gallery closed its doors in 2019.

Christ Church Milwaukee plans to purchase the building and establish it as a permanent home.

“We are a church that’s about seven years old and we have been somewhat nomadic in our first few years,” said pastor Jon Talley to members of the City Plan Commission on Monday afternoon. “The biggest thing for us is a space for Sunday worship and gathering.”

Talley said it would also offer the space to other groups, including nearby schools, for events.

“Our hope is to really serve the city of Milwaukee well. It’s part of our mission statement,” he said.

The city is poised to rezone the property from its “industrial – light” designation to “industrial – mixed.”

“It’s a zoning district designed for areas that are transitioning from historically industrial uses to a wider range of uses,” said Department of City Development planning manager Sam Leichtling of the mixed designation. The city has already made the change to properties in the Haymarket district north of Downtown and in Walker’s Point.

The church would still need to receive a special use permit from the Board of Zoning Appeals for a religious assembly space, but without the zoning change it would not even be eligible for the permit.

Most recently the congregation gathered in leased space at 1451 Renaissance Place in the Lower East Side neighborhood.

Talley said the church considered another location in the Haymarket neighborhood, which he said is a good meeting spot between members across the area.

“We actually had looked at renting some space at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center before the pandemic and that didn’t really work out,” he said. The arts center held a groundbreaking in February on an expansion effort in its building located just north of Christ Church’s future home.

The commission unanimously endorsed the zoning change, but it still requires Common Council approval.

The potential church property is listed for sale for $1.5 million through Paul Monigal at Corley Real Estate. A purchase price for the church has not been disclosed.

The property was purchased in an Internal Revenue Service auction by Milwaukee bar and restaurant owner R.C. Schmidt in 1987 for $87,000 and sold to a limited liability company connected to Bauman in 2008 for $480,000. RedLine engaged in a substantial redevelopment of the property prior to opening.

The church is an affiliate of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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Related Legislation: File 210051

One thought on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Church Will Replace RedLine Gallery”

  1. Edward Susterich says:

    Is this going to be still another property that is exempt from paying property taxes?

    Will God provide a certified statement that this religion is the one-and-only religion worthy of tax exemption?

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