143 N Broadway is a building in the Historic Third Ward. It was formerly owned by the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, but was sold in 2014 to a joint venture of General Capital Group and Joseph Property Development. The developers have proposed to demolish the building as well as the MIAD Student Union (266 E. Erie St.) to build a new apartment building.
The building is unusual in that it fronts a public plaza instead of a street. It’s addressed as pat of Broadway, but Broadway closes for vehicle traffic at E. Menomonee St. The public plaza (anchored around Dragotta Fountain) is part of Catalano Square.
The Wisconsin Historical Society has the following on file about the building.
Three story; painted brick, two three story arches encompassing fenestration; first floor altered.
John H. Steinkopf was a maker of sails, awnings, tents, flags, net and canvas banners, horse, wagon, haystack covers, etc. His business was established in 1878. Mr. Steinkopf was born in Norway and came to the U.S. in 1869, making a short stay in Pensacola, Florida. He settled in Milwaukee in 1870, and was engaged several years with G.D. Norris & Co., ship chandlers, ’til commencing business for himself.
A candy manufacturer established operations here in 1915. Then, in the mid 1950s until 1994, Frank Dragotta operated Dragg’s cafe, a neighborhood tavern. The upper floors are residential.