Northwestern Mutual gives sneak preview to its new building

Employees, agents, media get first look at interior [PHOTO GALLERY]

The Commons.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:56 pm

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. on Sunday allowed its employees and agents, visiting Milwaukee by the thousands for the company’s annual meeting, and the media to see the inside of much of the first floor of its new Tower and Commons building at its downtown Milwaukee headquarters campus.

The company allowed access to the Atrium, which now connects its historic Wisconsin Avenue building, built in 1912-14, to the new building. The Atrium will only be accessible to employees and will not be open to the public.

Visitors could also view The Grand Hall, an assembly area that can accommodate up to 700 people, and can be divided into as many as three separate rooms.

The Atrium connects the historic building to The Commons area of the new building. Much of The Commons will be open to the public. The public area will include a Starbucks café and a company museum.

The public will be able to access The Commons from Mason Street, Wisconsin Avenue and Prospect Avenue. The building’s lobby off of Mason Street is three stories high and features a floating staircase, which the company hopes will encourage its employees to use rather than take the stairs or an elevator.

The Northwestern Mutual Gardens, nearly three acres of green space, walkways and sitting areas along Wisconsin Avenue, was also on display Sunday and will be open to the public from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

The office spaces and the “top of the tower” viewing area were not available for viewing Sunday. The company wants to save access to the upper floors until the building’s official opening.

The 32-story, 1.1 million-square-foot Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons building will officially open for business on Aug. 21.

The $450 million project began about three years ago. Gilbane and C.G. Schmidt were the general contractors for the project, which was substantially complete about a month ago.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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