The Mackie Building is a historic office building in Downtown Milwaukee. The building is home to the well-known Grain Exchange Room. While formerly a commodities trading floor, the room is now an event space.
The building is owned by Joshua Jeffers, who redeveloped the building in 2016. A large portion of the office space in the project was converted to apartments. Continuum Architects led the redesign work.
Office tenants in the project include the Daily Reporter and J. Jeffers & Co.
From Guides to Historic Milwaukee: Juneautown Walking Tour by Mary Ellen Pagel and Virginia Palmer (1965)…
The words “Chamber of Commerce” carved above the entrance recall the purpose for which the eminent businessman Alexander Mitchell erected this building. In his day a major activity pursued in the Chamber of Commerce was the operation of the grain exchange where crops from Midwestern farms were bought and sold. Its octagonal grain pit was designed to permit traders to concentrate on their bidding without stepping on each other’s toes and is said to have been emulated in other American exchanges. When the Chamber of Commerce moved to new quarters, the two-story grain exchange was remodeled into offices. In the process, a mural, started to be the first painted for a local office building, was covered by a false ceiling. Its creator, John Conway, was also known in 19th -century Milwaukee for his portrait of Alexander Mitchell.
From the 1981 Landmarks Commission/Department of City Development report…
The Mackie Building (Chamber of Commerce Building) is an elaborate five and one-half story Victorian edifice. It was designed by Edward Townsend Mix and financed by Alexander Mitchell to serve as headquarters for Milwaukee’s Chamber of Commerce. The building was completed late in 1880 and was used for this purpose into the 1930s.
A contemporary document described the style of the building as “simple Italian.” The walls are granite, gray sandstone and limestone, and are richly ornamented. The main entrance, with a clock tower rising above it, is flanked by polished granite columns and embellished with sculptured images of the great seal of Wisconsin and the bull and bear of the trading pit. Except that a statue symbolizing “Commerce and Arts” has been removed from above the main entrance and the door modernized, the exterior of the building is essentially as it was in 1880.
The interior has been significantly altered. Gone is the sumptuous three-story Exchange Room, which contained the first trading pit ever constructed. The pit was designed by the Chamber’s secretary, William J. Langston, and was widely copied by other grain exchanges.
Redevelopment won a 2018 Mayor’s Design Award.
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Fire Alarm Permit
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HVAC General Permit.
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Content referencing Mackie Building
Old National Bank to Occupy Full Floor and Last Remaining Retail Space of Huron Building
New tenant fills Broadway-facing, first floor retail space and all of 8th floor, bringing occupancy to 65% of the Class A office space and mixed-use downtown buildingMar 31st, 2022 by J. Jeffers & Co.
Jeffers Sells Water Street Building
Soon to be home to Tropic bar and restaurant.Nov 26th, 2021 by Jeramey Jannene
Inside the Huron Building
Milwaukee's newest office building opens, mixing old with new, Downtown with Third Ward.Oct 5th, 2020 by Jeramey Jannene
2018 Mayor’s Design Award Recipients
Twenty projects honored, ranging from new skyscraper to two new parks.May 29th, 2018 by Jeramey Jannene
Inside the Mackie Flats
See how Jeffers and Continuum gave new life to a Milwaukee icon.Sep 26th, 2017 by Jeramey Jannene
Inside the Welford Sanders Lofts
Former shoe factory becoming apartments and offices, will help revive MLK Drive.Jan 10th, 2017 by Jeramey Jannene
Milwaukee’s Most Schizophrenic Developer?
Joshua Jeffers is spending millions to redevelop the Mackie Building and famed Grain Exchange.Jan 7th, 2017 by Jeramey Jannene
Maggie Kuhn Jacobus joins the Continuum Architects + Planners Team as Marketing Director
Kuhn Jacobus has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, public relations, journalism, fund raising and community relations.Jun 27th, 2016 by Continuum Architects + Planners, S.C.
New associate Jamie Wanek joins the Continuum Architects + Planners Team
Wanek is a registered architect with more than 15 years of experience and specialties in health care, multi-family housing and mixed use, among others.May 27th, 2016 by Continuum Architects + Planners, S.C.
How to Renovate a Masterpiece
New owners spending millions to redo 1879 Mackie Building. Our photos tell the tale.Mar 4th, 2016 by Michael Horne
City Birthday Party All About Dining
Politicians and candidate hopefuls mix with winners of dining awards.Feb 1st, 2016 by Michael Horne
Inside the Grain Exchange, 1880
The trading room was one of the "most lavishly decorated" public spaces in the region.Jan 12th, 2016 by Jeff Beutner
Broadway in Late 1860s
Then called Main St. and just south of Wisconsin, it boasted the Newhall House Hotel.Dec 1st, 2015 by Jeff Beutner
Financing plan for downtown building renovation comes into focusJul 13th, 2015 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tom Daykin
City panel approves financial help for RiverWalk at The North EndJun 16th, 2015 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tom Daykin
Milwaukee support for downtown Mackie Building apartment conversion OK’dJun 16th, 2015 - The Milwaukee Business Journal - Sean Ryan
Yes, Johnson Controls Wants to Build Downtown
The city will help pay for feasibility study of company building a high-rise near the lake and just west of Discovery World.May 13th, 2015 by Dave Reid
Craig Counsell’s Whitefish Bay Winner
The Brewers manager's $1.2 million colonial is a kid's paradise. Yet so secluded.May 12th, 2015 by Michael Horne
Renaissance on S. 2nd Street
Three five-story apartment buildings are planned for 2nd and Washington. Credit goes to the planned streetcar and design modifications to narrow the street.Apr 22nd, 2015 by Dave Reid
The Mackie Building’s Major Renovation
135-year-old building will be beautified and renovated to create 26 apartments, and a proposal for a modernistic "Mackie Building South" could connect to it.Apr 21st, 2015 by Michael Horne
In Defense of Historic Tax Credits
National Trust for Historic Preservation's leader comes to town, where her speech to a crowd filled with notables dramatized the need for state to maintain the current credits.Mar 23rd, 2015 by Michael Horne
Older Buildings – Livable Cities
Stephanie Meeks has been the president and chief executive officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation since July 2010Mar 9th, 2015 by Milwaukee Preservation Alliance
Walker’s Budget Reduces Historic Tax Credits
Tighter guidelines for credits and less total funding could hurt development in Milwaukee.Feb 20th, 2015 by Andrew McCann
Crowd Celebrates City Birthday Party
Politicians, PR people and other notables schmoozed away. The best rumor was that Chief Flynn might be retiring.Feb 2nd, 2015 by Michael Horne
Anti-Chisholm Candidate Fails to Get On Ballot
Monique Taylor sought open county supervisor seat to run against Gwen Moore’s son, but didn’t get enough signatures.Jan 19th, 2015 by Michael Horne
Mitchell Building, Around 1880
The headquarters for what became the Marine Bank, built by Alexander Mitchell, survives today almost exactly as originally built.Oct 29th, 2014 by Jeff Beutner
Inside the Mackie Building
Our photos take you inside the 1879 structure, the former Grain Exchange, and one of the city's most historic and beautiful buildings.Oct 21st, 2014 by Dave Reid
“Cream of Cream City” to be recognized at historic preservation awards ceremony
Annual preservation honors event to be held at Best Place at the PabstMay 19th, 2014 by Ald. Bob Bauman
7 Can’t Miss YP Week Events
Young Professional Week features some 30 events. Here's our pick of the top seven.Apr 11th, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
Huge Turnout for City Birthday Party
Lots of politicians, journalists, lobbyists and others glad-handed each other and drank free beer to salute the city's 168th birthday.Jan 31st, 2014 by Michael Horne
"There’s nothing better than hearing Bob Uecker say, “Get up! Get up! Get outta here! Gone!”Jan 27th, 2014 by Newaukee
Commission Row 1910
Our new column will capture scenes of the old city, like this bustling strip of wholesale grocers.Jan 15th, 2014 by Jeff Beutner
"I love the term 'Small-waukee,' it is so true. Everyone knows everyone..."Dec 9th, 2013 by Newaukee
A Historic Milwaukee Celebration
Plus: A national green award for The Brewery; and bringing fruit trees to Walker's Point.Feb 28th, 2013 by Urban Milwaukee
Every Politician in Town
Well, not quite, but the City's Birthday Party had a big turnout of politicians and insiders.Feb 5th, 2013 by Michael Horne
Historic Milwaukee Presents Remarkable MIlwaukee
Historic Milwaukee Inc, presents Remarkable Milwaukee: Honoring Conrad Schmitt Studios and The Gruenke Family on February 25, 2013 at The Grain Exchange Room.Jan 28th, 2013 by Historic Milwaukee Inc
Enhancing Milwaukee’s identity is an elusive endeavor. A city can both make and be given an identity. Some recent town center developments have tried to create identity with one massive all encompassing project.Apr 11th, 2010 by Matthew Trussoni
Older buildings holding ownOct 23rd, 1990 - Milwaukee Sentinel - Angela Apte
Building data on this page, including assessment information, was last updated on September 6, 2020
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