The existing cream-city brick building was built in 1925 giving way to a historic site that was in need of revitalization within the King Drive BID #8 and within the Bronzeville District, which is adjacent to the northwest side of downtown Milwaukee. This area has extreme significance due to the famed civil rights leader as well as the world. In addition, the area has seen significant redevelopment over the last 15 years totaling over $200 million.
The .52-acre property features 25 surface parking spaces and room for a community garden. The project team received LEED Silver certification for this development and is now pursuing LEED Gold certification. The project involved the renovation and adaptive re-use of the historic building, which was originally a cartage company (for horse-drawn carriage delivery services). As a historic building, the project was eligible for tax credits from the State of Wisconsin and from the federal government through the National Park Service.
The exposed brick walls and open steel truss structure was retained as elements in the design of the new space. Three major skylights along the center of the roof line were also retained in the new design.