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Restoring a 1905 Downtown Milwaukee Treasure

That flooding starting May 18 knocked out steam service to buildings on the entire east side of downtown Milwaukee, and some properties west of the Milwaukee River. It also flooded the basement of the Public Service Building, and steam rising from the underground tunnels damaged upper floors.

The steam released into the building severely damaged all of the major systems in the building, Garvin said. Damaged systems and interior items included electrical, plumbing, HVAC, walls, ceilings, floor coverings, furniture and fixtures.

The Public Service Building originally was built for The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company — which ultimately became WEC Energy subsidiary We Energies — by architect Herman J. Esser. Construction started in 1902 on the structure that’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wisconsin Energy Corp., as WEC Energy was then known, spent millions of dollars on a historic restoration of the building in the 1990s. The building has a grand lobby, a historic theater and wooden-clad hallways and offices.

Design Design, working with Dr. Graphx by Tukaiz, our role was to work throughout four floors creating wallpapers, researching and obtaining mostly historic photos, retouching the images and utilizing them throughout the 1905 downtown Milwaukee building.

Many areas featured clear 3D acrylic printed headers with first and second surface cut vinyl text The project included wayfinding signage design in period accuracy.

The project was completed in the spring of 2022, and has received widespread accolades and awards.


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