This 118-year-old school has been converted to senior apartments

This 118-year-old school has been converted to senior apartments

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Just last year, the former 37th Street School was vacant and blighted with its future uncertain. The former public school, 1715 N. 37th St., had ceased operations in 2005 and had been sitting empty since, becoming a magnet for vandalism and theft.

37th Street School Apartments. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo.

The maintenance needs became so extensive — including buckling, water-damaged floors — that the building was on the brink of demolition.

But look inside today, and you’ll see no sign of that unfortunate chapter of the building’s history. Now, thanks to a $9 million investment, the school has been converted to 49 seniors apartments, with the vast majority of them listed as affordable.

Rents will range from $394 to $900, writes OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo, with “bike storage, storage lockers for residents, an elevator, garbage and recycling room, and laundry facilities” among the amenities.

A look inside one of the 49 senior apartments. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo.
Hints of the school’s history, like these coat hooks above, remain. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo.

The project was “developed by Heartland Housing Alliance and Community First, with Greenfire doing the construction work and Landon Bone Baker serving as architects,” writes Tanzilo. “It is being funded, in part, with Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits, too. The latter requires a number of historical features to be retained.” 

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about the development, plus more about on the original pieces of the building preserved and integrated into the new design. (Hint: it involves a lot of hardwood.)

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