M & J Wilkow announced today that the historic Gas Light Building in Downtown Milwaukee will undergo a cosmetic update to restore the facade's transom windows to replicate its original glass design. The project is estimated to be completed by late September.
The Gas Light Building is a classic art deco design inside and out. Completed in 1930, it has distinctive decorative elements from overall stepped form of the building to the use of bronze details throughout. The exterior bronze screen and windows above the main entry of the building had been removed at some point and was replaced with solid metal panels. This restoration work will honor the original design by recreating the decorative bronze entry screen while opening the lobby to more daylight, providing a more inviting experience.
The art deco style building, located at 626 East Wisconsin Avenue, is an architectural icon, known for its famed 21-foot "flame" atop that acts as a weather beacon for the community, alerting of the coming weather. The flame was restored in 2016 along with an exterior LED lighting project.
"We are very excited to be restoring this prominent feature of this historic building," said Greg Mast, Assistant Vice President of Office Property Management at M & J Wilkow. "The restoration will not only honor the beautiful art deco style of the Gas Light Building, but will also have a positive impact on both the exterior and interior appearance of our entryway and lobby."
The building was acquired in 2015 by a joint venture between Chicago businessman and philanthropist Richard H. Dreihaus and Chicago-based M & J Wilkow, Ltd.