Originally two separate bank buildings, construction began on the State Bank of Wisconsin (corner of Michigan and Water Streets) in 1856 and then on the Bank of Milwaukee building just to the east which opened in 1859. The two buildings were joined into one in 1903. Over the years the combined building has housed a bank, insurance company, the credit card department of the Marine Bank, an architectural firm, and since 2002, has been owned and occupied by Grand Avenue Club.
The Bank of Milwaukee Building, home of Milwaukee’s Grand Avenue Club, incorporates the oldest commercial building in the city. Ordinarily closed to anyone not a member, Grand Avenue Club members will guide visitors through the building, showing the best bits and explaining the Club’s mission as an organization for adults who have suffered mental illness in Milwaukee. This 4-story italian renaissance revival structure is the city’s oldest stone commercial building (1856). Today it houses the Grand Avenue Club (GAC), a non-profit community of recovery and employment. See original marble fireplaces and floor safe. Knowledgeable GAC members will offer tours featuring this treasure’s fascinating history.