U.S. Bank Center (Milwaukee) - History


Plans were initially announced by First Wisconsin National Bank to construct a new headquarters building on August 21, 1969. Although no architectural designs were complete at the time of its announcement, bank officials indicated it would rise at least 40 stories. On March 18, 1971, bank officials unveiled the final design as a 42-story, 601-foot (183 m) skyscraper, encompassing an entire block fronting on East Wisconsin Avenue. Designed by James DeStefano of the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with Fitzhugh Scott Architects of Milwaukee serving as an associate planner for the project, the name of the tower was announced as the First Wisconsin Center.

Near the end of construction, a pair of fatalities occurred at the work site. In May 1973, a foreman died after being struck by a dump truck. That following July, one worker died and four others were injured when a derrick utilized in the installation of a 175-pound (79 kg) aluminum panel broke free and fell 41 floors to the ground. The building was topped-out on August 29, 1972, with the installation of the final 20-foot (6.1 m) steel beam atop the tower. In addition to bank officials, mayor Henry Maier, county executive John Doyne and Wisconsin governor Patrick Lucey were in attendance for the ceremony. The building was initially occupied on September 4, 1973, and celebrated its official opening on October 6, 1973.

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