Bookmark and Share

The History of Milwaukee and its Government, Photograph 2

Market Hall served as Milwaukee's City Hall from 1861 to 1872 and stood on the same site as the present City Hall. Market Hall had been home to German theatrical groups from 1853 to 1860. Market stalls occupied much of the first floor, and faced Market Square, a center of German social and commercial activity. As the growing city reached its 50th anniversary at the turn of the century, a new city hall was needed, but old tensions between the three former communities flared, and aldermen from Juneautown, Kilbourntown and Walker's Point each wanted the pride of city hall to be in their neighborhoods. Tradition eventually won out, but not after a supposed "back room" deal gave Kilbourntown representatives the library and other civic structures.