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First National Bank Parking Garage (CPS Parking Garage)

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1928–1929, Martin Tullgren and Sons. 740 N. Water St.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)

This Art Deco parking garage is cleverly disguised to look like an office block. Its tell-tale entrance ramp on E. Mason Street and glimpses of parked cars through what look like windows of the office building betray its actual function. Parking garages were introduced around 1905 as motorcars began replacing horses. Many early garages were livery stables, but sturdier, larger, reinforced concrete and brick buildings with ramps became the preferred means for storing cars. Tullgren outfitted this example with regular bays of steel casement windows and handsome Art Deco terra-cotta ornament in the spandrels and cornices. Built to serve First National Bank across the street, and able to accommodate more than 250 cars, Tullgren’s garage was the largest in Milwaukee when it opened, a distinction held until the early 1960s, when a downtown office-building construction boom created demand for larger structures.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "First National Bank Parking Garage (CPS Parking Garage)", [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, 82-82.

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