After years of laboring, Milwaukee’s City Hall was finished in 1885. Modeled in the German Renaissance Revival style (like the Pabst Mansion), Henry Koch’s masterpiece was the tallest building in the world for four years but lost its reign in 1889 when the Washington Monument was built.
Until the Calatrava wing of the Milwaukee Art Museum was finished, Milwaukee’s City Hall stood as a unifying symbol for our city. While the bell tower still adorns many municipal signs, the famous wings are now used as our cities marketing logo. City Hall also used to have a Welcome Milwaukee Visitors message on its tower that can be seen in the opening credits of the Milwaukee based tv show Laverne and Shirley.
After being declared a National Historic Landmark in 2005, City Hall got a major makeover that lasted 2 years. Not only is the Hall looking better than ever, but the bell can actually be rung now without major concerns that the vibrations will send the whole building tumbling to the ground.