It would be easy to mistake this Spanish colonial building, with its prominent seven-story tower and tiled roof, for a grand hotel or the seat of some kind of government.
As it turns out, the 65,000-square-foot building was constructed between 1913 and 1916 by Waukesha Pure Food Co. The food processor was the maker of Jiffy-Jell, the first fruit-flavored gelatin dessert to be sold nationally.
Although Jiffy-Jell quickly became a national success, its downfall was fast due to the use of alcohol in its flavoring mixes. The company had trouble sourcing the commodity during World War I, and then Prohibition made it illegal. Waukesha Pure Food Co. went out of business in 1921 after attempts to replace the alcohol were unsuccessful. The building later housed the Waukesha Mineral Water Company.
Today, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to Aries Industries Inc.
Address: 550 Elizabeth St., Waukesha
Owner: Bethesda LLC, an affiliate of Berg Management