The Mitchell Building is even more elaborately decorated than its neighbor, the Mackie Building (MI22). The Mackie’s somewhat abstract, bold embellishments look restrained compared to the Mitchell’s wealth of luxurious ornament. The Mitchell shows the creativity of architect Mix and the skills of masonry contractor John Roberts. Mix’s design was based on the Second Empire style, but he employed other contemporary ideas, too. The building boasts a mansard roof with dormers and a finial over the main body of the structure and a convex mansard roof over the central tower. Such classically inspired ornamentation as pediments, Corinthian pilasters, cornices, and rusticated stonework enrich the building. The central pavilion features sculptural figures, including winged creatures beside the entrance stairway and caryatids on the fourth floor. Alexander Mitchell, then the richest man in Wisconsin, commissioned this spectacular building to house his bank and insurance company. Although the building’s exterior is well preserved, the interior’s original opulence has been altered.
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