The 139-year-old Miller Tavern building at 266 E. Erie St. in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward is facing the wrecking ball.
After a 2017 proposal to redevelop the structure, possibly as a restaurant, never materialized, the owner of the building – a limited liability company created by Linda Gorens-Levey, a partner with Fox Point-based General Capital Group, and developer Robert Joseph – are trying to get permission from officials to raze the historic property in order to put another development in its place.
Their first stop in that endeavor will be a review by the Historic Third Ward Association’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), which is slated to consider the request on Wednesday afternoon.
Any recommendation the ARB makes, won’t be binding, however, noted Matthew Jarosz, the ARB’s coordinator. That’s because the board doesn’t have ability to grant certificates of appropriateness for demolition. Only city committees have that right.
What the ARB can do is offer its input, Jarosz said. At Wednesday’s meeting that input will be focused on whether the building, which was damaged in 2013 in a fire, should come down.
Only later – after the Historic Preservation Commission, Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee, and full Common Council have considered whether the building can be razed – will the ARB have any real say on what replaces the building, should a raze permit be granted.
Jarosz would not disclose the details of the developers’ proposal, noting that he typically does not release those details before the meeting, but said the project was not an apartment building.
He did state that Chris Socha of Kubala Washatko Architects, was working with the developers.
Gorens-Levey declined to comment on the proposal when reached by email on Monday morning.
Constructed in 1884, the historic saloon survived the Third Ward Fire of 1892. Afterwards in 1912 a second-story addition was added. In recent years the structure was used as a student center for The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. It was designated as an historic building in 2015.