Walk 1 – Building 1
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State Bank Of Wisconsin/Bank Of Milwaukee
(Insurance Exchange Building)
210 East Michigan Avenue
Architects: Mygatt & Schmidtner (west: State Bank of Wisconsin) 1856
Albert Nash (Cincinnati) (east: Bank of Milwaukee) 1858
Originally built as two buildings in the 1850s, the buildings were both done in the (Italian) Renaissance Revival style. They have a load-bearing stone exterior with wood interior structure. In a 1903 project by Ferry and Clas, the two buildings were combined into one, and the original elaborate iron cornice was removed. In 1956, the two western-most bays of the buildings collapsed due to vibrations from street construction. The North Water Street facade was rebuilt in cream brick, and the Michigan Street facade was rebuilt with stone salvaged from the collapsed bays.
The stone used in construction of both buildings was a northeastern Illinois dolomite known as the Joliet Limestone. The stone was a common material for the construction of buildings in Chicago, due to the expansion of quarrying operations in the Joliet-Lemont area, near Chicago, in the 1840s.
The original stone carvings on the buildings have been greatly affected by acid precipitation in the late 20th century. When deteriorated decorative carvings at the entrance were replaced in 1990, Kansas Cottonwood limestone was used for its higher quality and greater durability.