That cool building on the corner of Humboldt and North won’t be empty much longer

That cool building on the corner of Humboldt and North won’t be empty much longer

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee
How this development mirrors others on the East Side

It’s an interesting building — architecturally and historically speaking — with an even more interesting future.

You may recognize the three story white and green brick building on the corner of Humboldt and North Ave from when it had a red neon sign in the window reading “PLEASE BE CIVIL.”

That sign is gone these days, and the building has been vacant for a few years now, acquired by the city as a tax foreclosure.

As a former Riverwest resident who passed that intersection daily, it always struck me as unusual for such a cool building on a prime intersection to be so…empty.

But it wasn’t always. For decades it was a string of lively tarverns and music clubs serving thirsty, punk rock-loving Riverwesters.

Zak’s and The Spruce Goose were just two of the well-known establishments to occupy the space, and its roots run all the way back to 1890 when it was built as a Schilz tied house.

So what’s in store?

Commercial development (possibly retail or food/beverage) and two full-floor condos. A timeline hasn’t yet been officially announced.

OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo says people sometimes groan when they hear condos are planned for an old building, but is residential development really a bad thing?

We talk it through on this week’s episode of Urban Spelunking. Listen below.

Be sure to read Bobby’s complete story and subscribe to Urban Spelunking and all of 88Nine’s other podcasts here.