Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Milwaukee #20: MSOE C-Building

1025 North Milwaukee Street

Milwaukee School of Engineering C-Building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in November 2000
MSOE C-Building in November 2000.

The C-Building, once known as the the Milwaukee Street Building or the Administration Building, was originally built as a high school for the German-English Academy, and was later used as a Jewish Cultural Center. It was purchased by MSOE in 1948. It housed many MSOE facilities over the years, including classrooms, the library, an auditorium, a computer center and offices for administration, faculty, student services and even the college president.  The building also had an old swimming pool in the basement that was never used by MSOE (though the Society of Model Engineers had a model railroad built in that area from 1985 to 1991). The C-Building became surplus after the opening of the Student Life & Campus Center in 1991, and after 1993 the building stood vacant. The building's ultimate fate would be sealed in 1998, when the piping for the building's steam heating system began breaking. The building's heating system was shut off, and condensed steam froze during the winter, causing structural damage. In 1999, a contractor was hired to demolish the building, but backed out of the contract after realizing the building was larger than originally thought. In the following years, many rumors developed as to why the building remained standing, including that it was an historical landmark or that it was full of hazardous materials like asbestos and lead.  These were not true (or at least were not the reason it remained standing). More recently, the building was likely left standing to occupy otherwise vacant land during negotiations to acquire land for the new Kern Health & Wellness Center. With the Kern Center's opening in October 2004, the C-Building could finally come down and was demolished by early 2005 to make room for a needed student parking lot with experimental pavement.

Continue to 21: MSOE Roy W. Johnson Hall

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