Postmodern design reached Milwaukee in the 1980s with the Reuss Federal Building, a key part of Milwaukee’s downtown makeover. Built with the federal clout of longtime House Banking Committee chair and Milwaukee congressman Henry Reuss, the tower, with its bands of blue enameled steel and glass, is known locally as “that blue thing.” Two trapezoidal prisms pop out from the tower’s twelfth and thirteenth stories to break its large rectangular mass. Each face alternates the width of the blue enameled steel bands separating the mirrored glass curtain wall. In recent years, some federal agencies vacated their suites due to security concerns in such glass curtain high-rises following the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City.
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Reuss Federal Plaza
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