The Iron Block Building is located at the intersection of East Wisconsin Avenue and North Water Street in Milwaukee. It is the only remaining cast iron building in Wisconsin. Historic preservation is the goal for this 150 year old building. It was originally built in 1860 when cast iron buildings were increasingly popular in New York, Chicago or Milwaukee because they were much more efficient to assemble. Originally commissioned by J.B. Martin after viewing other structures by D.D. Badger Co. assembled in New York. Martin was impressed with the facades of the buildings and ordered one to be built in Milwaukee. 
This is the third major renovation to the building since it was built. In 1898 the building to the right in the photo burned down causing the roof to need rebuilding and the redesign of some of the 4th floor. Shockingly, many artifacts have been found during the 2012 renovation from that fire including shards of chimney structure and other burned pieces found in the walls.

In 1984 there was a large renovation done to the exterior to reverse weathering. The interior was refurbished to accommodate the modern businesses. 

The renovation that Dental Associates began in 2012 is to bring the image of the building back to its original appearance. The renovations include sandblasting and cleaning the facades. The goal is to “restore the building to the same look it had when Lincoln was still President”. Other remnants have been found in the walls and attic of the building including a dental chair from the 1930’s! How ironic! This progress can be followed Here

The Iron Block Building is a landmark in the history of Milwaukee. These preservations are important to maintaining our nation’s history, and more important our local history. Congratulations to all involved in keeping the deep history of Milwaukee alive! The renovations are scheduled to be fully completed by this summer!

Building History. (2012). In Dental Associates Iron Block. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from 

Milwaukee: A Half-Century of Progress. Retrieved March 28, 2013 from Google Books

Historic Americans Building Survey: Iron Block Building, Retrieved March 29, 2013

By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major

Our members, followers, and fans have shown growing interest in the events that we hold here at Chudnow Museum. There is a consistent promotion of our events in our theatre that bring discussion of history such as prohibition times, equal rights movements, and the Milwaukee area during the Great Depression. Touring the museum will elaborate upon the interests in these time periods.

Throughout the Museum there are some maps of the time period that display where the relative location of everything would have been “in those days.” During the Talks, the professors and speakers of Milwaukee’s history take the audience back to what life was like in the early 20th century.
A most interesting presentation regarding equal rights is coming up is presented by Dr. Michael Jacobs, history professor from UW Baraboo/ Sauk County. His discussion on April 18 at 6 pm will be on the rise and fall of the KKK in Milwaukee county in the 1920s. The KKK attempted to gain support and followers with events and rallies including a parade down the street in Milwaukee which caused furious crowds. Dr. Jacobs will take the audience through the journey of exploring this history that took place right here in our neighborhoods 90 years ago. 
Following this discussion on April 29th there will be another breathtaking presentation as Amy Shapiro, professor of philosophy and humanities at Alverno College, presents her new book, Different Horror, Same Hell. The collection of essays draws attention to the significance of women's roles and family structures during and in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
If these don’t appeal never forget that we often have movie nights scheduled showing the most popular movies of the time including the Shirley Temple movies. Their popularity made movie making the industry it became to be, and these movies still make for a fun family event to plan on!

We will keep everyone updated on new events we schedule! Hope to see everyone around soon.

By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major

It was 100 years ago today that there was a march around the Nation’s capital with over 5,000 protestors, advocating for Women’s rights. The march helped bring needed political attention to the matter. The Women’s rights movement began in 1878, and took until 1920 to be ratified. The march took place March 3, 1913. It was a tactic that proved to be more successful than their years of petitioning and picketing.  

This march was the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural address, and was strategic for setting the political agenda. It was a climatic time for change and needed influence. The movement was joked and laughed at by men in town waiting for Wilson’s inaugural address, but it made the necessary impact.

In Wisconsin, there was a lengthy struggle for women suffrage groups. When the Wisconsin constitution was written in 1848 there was no women suffrage rights of concern. As activist groups formed by 1870, and some movements were being made it was difficult persuasion as many related suffrage with temperance movements. In Wisconsin this delayed progress in suffrage as much hostility was formed towards temperance as breweries were a large industry for the State.

In 1912 Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th amendment giving women rights. This was a large success story as so much progress had been made since the original constitution was signed only 65 years earlier. Celebrate the State’s rich history and progress today celebrating 100 years since the suffrage march, and nearly 100 years since the 19th amendment was ratified.

19th Amendment to U.S Constitution. (2013). In Our Documents. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from

Harvey, S. (2001). Marching for the Vote. In American Women. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from

The Women's Suffrage Movement. (2013). In Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from

By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major