Gallun Tannery Historic District

Holton and Water Sts., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A campus of former industrial buildings, now being developed into residential use



The empty field along the river was the location of the tannery operation. The building in the distance is the administration building, built from Cream City Brick.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2014




At one time, Milwaukee was known for beer and grain production, however, it was also a center of meat packing, tanning and shoe making. A large meatpacking operation supplied hides to several tanneries along the Milwaukee River, the hides would be tanned and eventually made into shoes.

In 1858, Albert Trostel and A.F. Gallun founded the Gallun & Trostel Tannery, they also manufactured boots, saddles and harnesses for the Civil War.

Trostel and Gallun parted ways in 1884, the A.F. Gallun & Sons tannery was opened in 1885. Albert Trostel & Sons carried on in the tannery business. They were joined by Pfister & Vogel and several other tanneries. The A.F. Gallun & Sons tannery specialized in calfskin and was one of the four largest tanneries in the United States in 1890.

The operation ceased in 1993 because of foreign competition. The administration building was cleaned up to reveal the distinctive Cream City Brick and was converted to residential use. The tannery was demolished in 2011. announced on August 13, 2014 that Atlantic Realty Partner, a developer based in Atlanta, purchased the vacant site.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 2, 1984
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Current function
Manufacturing facility
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1925-1949
Significant years
1876; 1923
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • August 18, 2014: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status and Added Photos



Gallun Tannery Historic District
Posted August 18, 2014, by Anonymous

Some nice photos JR. Looks like an interesting place.