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Project to restore Gas Light Building’s historic entryway

(Photo courtesy of M & J Wilkow)

(Photo courtesy of M&J Wilkow)

Downtown Milwaukee’s landmark Gas Light Building will undergo a restoration project to renovate historical features that once adorned its main entrance.

The building owner, M&J Wilkow, of Chicago, announced on Tuesday that it is undertaking work to bring back decorative bronze screens and windows that had once occupied space above the building’s entryway, opening the lobby to more natural light. The design features had been removed at some point and replaced with solid metal panels.

Bear Construction is the general contractor on the project, which is to wrap up in late September, according to a spokeswoman for M&J.

“We are very excited to be restoring this prominent feature of this historic building,” said Greg Mast, assistant vice president of office property management at M&J Wilkow. “The restoration will not only honor the beautiful art deco style of the Gas Light Building, but will also have a positive impact on both the exterior and interior appearance of our entryway and lobby.”

The Gas Light building, constructed in 1930, is an example of Art Deco architecture and features a 21-foot-tall flame on its roof that changes colors with the weather forecast. A previous exterior LED lighting project included a restoration of the flame.

A joint venture of M&J Wilkow and Chicago businessman Richard Driehaus acquired the Gas Light building in 2015 for $20.5 million.

About Nate Beck, [email protected]

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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