Cream of the Cream City Award Winners: 2003
The Takis and Teresa Kinis House 2494 N. Bartlett Street
Homeowners Takis and Teresa Kinis restored their 19th century house on the city’s East Side and showed that sweat equity and perseverance can bring back the charm and character of a modest 19th century L-plan cottage.
The Kinis’s removed the brick patterned asphalt siding, which had been installed in 1941, to reveal long-hidden corner boards, water table and belt course in the gable end. They also restored the sills and aprons to the windows and reconstructed the gabled window hoods that give the façade so much character. The final step was a nice paint job that accentuates the architectural detail. The Kinis’s can be proud of their work and the Historic Preservation Commission hopes that their efforts inspire other homeowners.
Copeland Filling Station/Sherman Perk 4924 W. Roosevelt Drive
Owner Robert Olin transformed the former Copeland Filling Station into the popular coffee shop Sherman Perk.
The filling station was designed by local architects Urban Peacock and A. C. Runzler and completed in 1939. Its striking streamline Moderne Style design was unique in this neighborhood of period revival style houses. After it was closed in 1989, the station became vacant and tax delinquent. Contamination from leaking tanks added to the property’s challenges. Building code violations piled up. The station received local historic designation in 1995. New owner Bob Olin was able to secure various brownfields grants to remediate contamination and restore the property. Sherman Perk celebrated its grand opening on August 12, 2001.
Miller Brewing Company 3900-4100 blocks of State Street
Miller Brewing Company's award is for restoring the exterior of its 19th century brewery buildings along State Street. Miller has been associated with Milwaukee’s history for nearly 150 years.
The cream brick buildings on State Street, dating from 1886 to 1896, were embellished with stone trimmed arches, terra cotta ornament and crenellated parapets. The castle-like building at 3931 W. State Street is perhaps the most familiar to all who drive through “Miller Valley” today. Much of the beauty of these early buildings remained hidden under decades of soot and pollution. In the last several years, Miller has carefully had the exteriors cleaned on these buildings, using a non-abrasive and environmentally friendly cleaner. The buildings now shine with attractive cream color brick, terra cotta ornament and fine stone detail.
Milwaukee Fire Department
Engine House No. 31 at 2400 South 8th Street;
Engine House No. 21 at 2050 N. Palmer Street
Engine House No. 21
The Milwaukee Fire Department is recognized for its efforts in restoring historic character to two of its firehouses. Engine House No. 21 at 2050 N. Palmer Street was built in 1894 and is located in the Brewer’s Hill Historic District. Engine House No. 31 was built in 1911-1912 at 2400 S. 8th Street in what was then the heart of Milwaukee’s Polish community.
Engine House No. 31
Both engine houses underwent modifications in the past to allow for bigger fire engines and equipment. Recent efforts have been made to replace non-historic overhead and pedestrian doors with doors more appropriate to the age of the building and to carefully paint details and preserve exterior masonry.
Greater Mitchell Street Association, Business Improvement District #4,
Mitchell Street Development Opportunities Corporation (MSDOC)
Historic Mitchell Street long served as the downtown of the south side with a vibrant mix of residences, churches and retailers large and small. In recognition of its importance, the blocks between South 5th and South 14th Streets were designated a local historic district in 1986.
The Greater Mitchell Street Association, Business Improvement District No. 4 and Mitchell Street Development Opportunities Corporation have all contributed to keeping Mitchell Street an attractive, inviting and important place to shop. The three organizations play a significant preservation education role in the community by keeping businesses informed of the preservation process. They also work on graffiti removal, getting security bars and gates removed from storefronts and improving the quality of signage on the street.
Richard (Dick) Stefanik's award is for his many years of preservation activism. Dick Stefanik has always been interested in history and imparted that love of the subject to his students during his years as a public school teacher. He has been a regular attendee of the Historic Preservation Commission meetings and followed the preservation process at Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee hearings. Over the years Dick nominated a number of buildings for local designation, including the Auditorium Building, the Henry Harnischfeger House, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Emanuel Adler House. He has served as a volunteer guide with Historic Milwaukee Inc. and writes for the organization’s publication echo.