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This downtown gem will reopen as Milwaukee's second Kinn Guesthouse this December

We're heading downtown Milwaukee this week on Urban Spelunking to explore the Lawrence Block building, a former retail space with abundant cream city brick and interesting ornamental details, which will soon reopen as a boutique hotel.

Kinn Guesthouse will operate its second location in the space, 600 N. Broadway, with 31 guest rooms and offering shared kitchen and bath spaces. According to owner Charles Bailey, who also operates the original Kinn Guesthouse in Bay View, the downtown location is set to open in early December.

In its previous life, the 1860s Lawrence Block building has home to many kinds of businesses, boosted by its prominent location that has remained active throughout Milwaukee's history. According to a city landmark designation report, quoted in OnMilwaukee:

“It was built at a time when Broadway (then know as Main Street) was becoming a commercially important extension of the city's main retailing area on North Water Street. The Birchard and Follansbee Block (323-31 E. Wisconsin Ave.) and the Noonan Block (307 E. Wisconsin Ave.), which had been built the previous year, had encouraged the further commercialization of this block of Broadway.

“The whole building was occupied by a variety of tenants including commission merchants, express companies, crockery merchants, but most numerously by garment manufacturers and milliners.”

Listen to this week's episode below, and visit OnMilwaukee to read Bobby Tanzilo's complete story packed photos and history.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee