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Urban Spelunking with The Hills Building

This week, Managing Editor Bobby Tanzilo takes us back to Historic Mitchell Street to peek inside a building that was once a retail magnet -- the Hills Building.

Built in 1919, the five-story building was home to Isaac Goldmann's well-known Lion Store.  As Tanzilo writes, "the first floor housed 'the general run of yard goods and similar departments,' as well as a bakery. The mezzanine was home to the 'art goods.' Housewares were in the basement and clothing on the second floor. On the third floor were the employees lunch room and kitchen, offices and, for customers, the drapery, carpet and furniture departments."

Today, a major development is planned for the site aimed at continuing its legacy as a community fixture. 

Milwaukee Public Library will be opening another mixed-use branch on S 9th and W Mitchell streets, complete with market-rate apartments on the four stories above the main floor.  The development will be similar to the East Side Library that opened last year on E North Avenue.

Click the podcast player above to my conversation with Tanzilo, and  follow this link to read his entire column.