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Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

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1886, Solon Spencer Beman. 605–623 N. Broadway
  • (HABS)
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company began in Janesville in 1851 but moved to Milwaukee in 1859, becoming one of the nation’s leading insurance companies. This Richardsonian Romanesque building was Northwestern Mutual Life’s corporate home from 1886 until 1914. Its excellent construction and use of luxurious materials mirrored its nationwide success. The granite block basement supports intricately carved Romanesque arches that create a welcoming effect. Rock-faced Bedford limestone–clad upper floors display richly carved limestone lintels and medallions. Inside, a glistening staircase trimmed with cast-bronze and copper balusters and newel posts greets visitors. An atrium rises five stories, each floor trimmed with colorful encaustic tile floors, rare marble wainscoting, ornate decorative metalwork, oak woodwork, and stenciled walls. The arched iron and glass skylight fills the atrium with natural light to backlight each office suite.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company", [Milwaukee, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 79-79.

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