Milwaukee County Historical Society


Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee County Historical Society


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


31,000 SF


2004 – Present

The Milwaukee County Historical Society is housed in a nationally registered, 1913 structure designed by Kirchoff/Rose of Philadelphia. Built as a financial institution, this iconic edifice was donated to Milwaukee County in 1965. Since 2002, four phases of interior rehabilitation and exterior restoration have allowed the Society to effectively execute its mission as a research library and archive, an exhibit space, and a public venue.

The first phase restored the integrity of the exterior, cast-iron window units. Subsequent interior phases addressed accessibility and revealed the grandeur of the spaces while adapting them to the Society’s mission. Project scope included the retrofit of mechanical and electrical systems to provide greater occupant comfort and satisfy archival needs. The final phase was completed while the Society remained open.

Further exterior restoration was done as a follow-up to an extensive, investigative study of the stone parapet, balustrade, and cornice.


  • Frederick I. Olsen Historic Preservation Award, 2012
  • AIA Wisconsin Special Recognition, 2011