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Prospect Avenue Apartment Buildings Historic District

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1903–1931. Roughly includes the 1900 blocks of N. Summit and N. Prospect aves. and the 1700 and 1800 blocks of E. Kane and E. Lafayette places.

One of the city’s best groups of high-style, early-twentieth-century apartment buildings is in this compact district of nineteen structures near the shore of Lake Michigan. The neighborhood is a showcase of Art Deco and period-revival buildings trimmed with high-quality materials such as hand-carved stone, terra-cotta, wrought iron, and ornamental brickwork.

Garden apartments featuring attractive, landscaped side or central courtyards were an early-twentieth-century phenomenon that still influences contemporary apartment design. An excellent example is the Elizabethan Revival Cudahy/Edgeview Apartments (1909) at 1857 N. Prospect Avenue, which has a side courtyard. At 1930 N. Prospect, the Park Lane Apartments (1930), a nine-story gem designed by Walter Stuckert, is beautifully lit by late afternoon sunlight when the gold-leaf terra-cotta ornament at the top story blazes with color. No other building in the city features a more exuberant use of decorative terra-cotta.

The Shorecrest Hotel (1962 N. Prospect) is a fine example of a residence hotel for short- and long-term residents who wanted to combine apartment living with the services of a fine hotel. The Mediterranean Revival nine-story brick building, designed by Martin Tullgren and constructed in two stages between 1924 and 1928, is lavishly embellished with buff-colored terra-cotta around the main entrance. A simplified Arts and Crafts style adds to the overall character of several apartments in this district, including the Stellwin Apartments (1911) at number 1982. The Lanterne Court (1917; 2009 N. Prospect), however, is Georgian Revival and has a central garden courtyard. Characterized by box-like massing, tapestry brick walls, and modest yet attractive architectural detailing, the Lafa yette Apartments (1911; 1913 E. Lafayette Place) ranks as one of the most interesting of the Craftsman-style apartments because of a remarkable hood over the main entrance, which is embellished with carved limestone brackets. Nearby, the Georgian Revival Ambassador (c. 1927; 1943 N. Summit Avenue) has a side garden courtyard.

Two buildings that characterize a conservative yet sophisticated interpretation of Art Deco are the Hathaway Tower (1930; 1830 E. Kane Place) and the Viking Apartments by Herbert Tullgren (1931) at 1705–1717 E. Kane. Both feature two-tone cream-colored glazed brick walls with black terra-cotta trim. Other examples of the Craftsman style include the Madra Villa Apartments (c. 1915) and the Wallard Manor Condominium (1911) at 1806 and 1704–1714 E. Kane Place, respectively.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Marsha Weisiger et al.
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Citation

Marsha Weisiger et al., "Prospect Avenue Apartment Buildings Historic District", [Milwaukee, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WI-01-MI150.

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 140-141.

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