The Milwaukee County Historical Society building was originally a bank and was designed by the Kirchhoff and Rose architectural firm in the Beaux Arts style of the French Renaissance. There are over 600 pilings, one foot in diameter, needed to carry the immense weight of the structure. There are seven vaults total and the door frame of the north vault weighs 27 ½ tons. Visitors enter into an elegant atrium surrounded by pillars, a balcony-level and marble accents. This Milwaukee landmark, also on the National Register of Historic Places, was meticulously restored and completed in 2011.
Located along the Milwaukee River in Downtown Milwaukee, the Milwaukee County Historical Center offers a museum and research library housed in the historic Second Ward Savings Bank Building, built in 1913. Visitors are welcome to enjoy our exhibitions, to talk to our curatorial and research library staff, to view some of our collections, and to enjoy the elegant interiors of this landmark.