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On the Boards | GSA Milwaukee Facade



Designated as a Milwaukee City Landmark and a National Register of Historic Places listed building, the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse is currently receiving extensive restoration work on its strikingly bold, historically unique façade.

The building, constructed from 1892-1899, was built to address the growing needs for adequate space for Milwaukee’s U.S. Post Office. Initially, after the building was completed, it held multiple federal agencies under one roof including the U.S. Courts, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Marshals. Currently, the Districts Courts are the only original tenant remaining in the building.

A shining example of Romanesque Revival architecture, the 302,000 sf. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse is heavily detailed featuring rich exterior masonry facades. The façade which is broken into recesses and projections creates a lively dynamic that features smooth and textured granite, carved moldings, decorative stonework, Romanesque leaf ornaments, gargoyles, finials, and tall pinnacles. Along with its robust exterior, the building also features a soaring bell tower that rises from the center of the façade. The Romanesque Revival building was a unique style at the time of its construction, as it broke from the classical styles that dominated government buildings throughout most of the 19th century.

To continue to preserve and maintain its unique historic fabric for decades to come, Bailey Edward is acting as a subconsultant supporting The Tradesman Group, the construction management contractor (CMC) for the project and Mills Schnoering, the A/E, with their collaborative historic restoration efforts. Once in construction, we will be working closely with The Tradesman Group. The restoration will embrace the latest technology in cleaning and preservation methodologies to do peer review of the architect’s construction documents and assist the CMC in maintaining the highest quality in its preservation approach.