14.4.15

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN.

Milwaukee's Schuster's department store, which sponsored a Christmas parade on rails,  had its flagship store on North Third, near North Avenue (get there on the Nineteen car line) as well as a largish store on West Mitchell at Eleventh Street and a smaller store on Vliet.

When Gimbels bought Schuster's, the flagship store was later repurposed as its warehouse, and to reduce heating costs, concealed behind metal siding.  But the original brick was left in excellent shape underneath.
A walk through the building, now storing archived business records belonging to C.H. Coakley's customers and other items, finds vestiges of its glory days.

The building has some ceilings as high as 18 feet, and large windows that provide views of Lake Michigan, downtown's skyline, Miller Park and other sites.

On the ground floor, there are two revolving door bays for what were store entrances off N. 4th St. and N. 3rd St., later renamed N. King Drive.

There's also a mezzanine level and an escalator, along with an upper-floor commissary that made items sold at delis within all the Schuster's stores.
But in its redevelopment, possibly with apartments upstairs and retail below, will there ever be streetcars bending the corner around?

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