For this week’s Urban Spelunking, OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo and I are headed to the border of the Harambee and Riverwest neighborhoods to find the story behind a neat old building up for sale.
The former Holton St. State Bank has been through many iterations since it was built in 1927 at 500 E. Center St. After the bank closed in 1960, it became Boys & Girls Club with an alternative high school on the second floor. In 1975, a childcare center called Centro Del Niños opened in the space, and it remained there until 2006.
The two-story building has been vacant since.
Walk inside, and you’ll see hints from each of the previous tenants’ pasts, although evidence of the bank is especially sparse. But Tanzilo says, if you poke your head up into the dropped ceiling, you can see a crumbling ornamental ceiling left over the building’s financial days. On the outside, you can find a corroded old night depository box.
The city-owned building and the lot are both up for sale right now — for just over $220,000 — with the adjacent lot possibly included. Much more information is available on the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development page.