37th Street School Apartments, Milwaukee, WI

This adaptive reuse project includes the conversion of a historic school originally designed by George Birnbach to 49 units of affordable independent living senior housing. Initially, a public elementary school located in the Washington Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the building was constructed in 1903 with two 1911 additions, for a total of roughly 62,555 SF on 3 floors, plus a basement. The building occupies a 69,149 SF lot and features exterior load-bearing masonry construction. The building was used as a school until 2005 and remained vacant and boarded up until the restoration.

The project received both WHEDA and Historic Preservation tax credits and required coordination among National Park Service/WI State Historic Preservation Office and WHEDA, including conformance with Wisconsin Green Built Home Standards (minimum 150 points).

Unit mix is (6) 2BR/1BA, (21) 1BR/1BA, and (22) Studio apartments. In addition to the conversion to housing, the project included a complete overhaul of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems as well as full fire protection in compliance with current code requirements. An accessible entry with an elevator is off of the West façade of the building and management offices are located at the basement level. The exterior work includes amenity space for seniors and visitors, a parking and drop-off area, and landscaping and paths throughout the site.

Previously Existing Conditions

Old photo of 37th Street School Milwuakee, WI
37th Street School exterior sign construction progress
37th Street School classroom construction progress
37th Street School exterior courtyard construction progress
37th Street School gym construction progress