State Bank of Wisconsin

Also known as: Bank of Milwaukee Block, Insurance Exchange Building
210 E. Michigan St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

An early example of Italian revival in this region, but with unusual, highly original ornament


Overview Looking Northeast

That's the Home Office, Northwestern Mutual Life to the right side of the photo.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in April 2014



Street View 


Built in 1856-1857, this building, which has very original ornament, is representative of an early period in Milwaukee's history.

The building faces south. It has a limestone facade with brick rear portions, a rectangular plan 45' wide (the facade on East Michigan Avenue) by 42' deep, and Is four stories high plus an elevated basement. The facade, heavily membered and ornamented, is divided into three bays by rusticated pilasters that are partially vermiculated. There are moulded cornices between the floors and a deeply projecting roof cornice with dentil course and pediment over the center bay.

The windows and entrance have deeply projecting, carved stone frames with pediments of various types and heavy foliated and figured ornament.

Prepared by Henry C. Edwards, Architect
National Park Service
August 1960

At one time, a bridge across the alley to the east connected the Insurance Exchange Building to the Home Office of the Northwestern Mutual Life building. NML moved out of the building in 1914, the bridge was removed in 1917. -Historic American Buildings Survey HABS No. WIS-268, Home office, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 8, 1984
Reference number
Architectural styles
Victorian: Renaissance; Other architectural type; Italian Renasissance Revival
Areas of significance
Commerce; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Financial institution; Business
Current functions
Business; Financial institution
Period of significance
Significant years
1856; 1858; 1865


19th Century (37,425)
Bank (1,335)
Brick (42,462)
Built 1856 (347)
Built during 1850s (4,670)
Commercial building (6,020)
Have Street View (43,977)
Limestone (8,192)
Milwaukee County, Wisconsin (320)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (163)
Private owner (54,396)
Renaissance (1,331)
Victorian (19,697)
Wisconsin (2,583)

Update Log 

  • May 24, 2017: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • April 8, 2014: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Photos and Added Description


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Michael Miller - michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • National Register database - Reference number 84003742