Building Info

The Mackie Building. Photos by Tricia Shay.
  • Address:
    225 E. Michigan St.
  • Taxkey:
  • Architect:
    Edward Townsend Mix
  • Architectural Style:
    Italianate
  • Status:
  • Assessment:
    $4,322,000 (2017)
  • Year Built:
  • Size:
    45,975 sq-ft

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.

Photos

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Activity

IDDateTypeDescription
REF-17-000042017/07/19Permit
Refrigeration Permit.
HVAC-GEN-17-020232017/07/11Permit
HVAC General Permit.
COM-ALT-17-004972017/06/07Permit
Commercial Alteration Permit.
PLB-17-017642017/04/29Permit
Building Plumbing Permit.
ELEC-17-024162017/04/26Permit
Electrical Permit.
PWOP-17-003002017/03/28Permit
ROW Occupancy Permit.
PWEN-17-000992017/03/24Permit
ROW Excavation Non-Utility.
ELEV-17-000152017/01/21Permit
Elevator Permit.
ASBP-16-000282016/12/20Permit
Asbestos Project.
ELEV-16-000102016/11/11Permit
Elevator Permit.
IDDateDescriptionType

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