Historic Button Block Building

500 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI

Project Manager: Nate Kawlewski

Field Manager: Rafael Villegas

Services Provided by Balestieri:

Project Summary

First built in 1892, the building was erected in honor of Henry Harrison Button. Nearly 100 years later, the building burst into flames. Thankfully, the older masonry structure prevented the collapse of the building. The high ceilings, large windows, brick arches, and other historic details of the Romanesque facility caught the eye of Bear Development.

Renovations began in 2016, and the need to preserve the building was top priority. Balestrieri was chosen to abate the hazardous waste and asbestos containing materials throughout to assist with the salvage of this historic property.

The building is located near the new Fiserv Forum and the Third Ward. The building has a great location right in the heart of Milwaukee, and you can see it on the freeway coming in and out of the city.

It is difficult to initially assess the scope of the hazardous materials found in historical buildings. Button Block was no exception. Each layer of flooring removed uncovered more hazardous materials that needed to be tested and abated by our experts. In addition to its historic components, the busy corner of Water and Clybourn posed logistical challenges for the Balestrieri team in accessing the building.

Our team worked with the general contractor to determine proper access points and create a timeline for the work to be completed. We were able to decommission the elevator so that it could be demolished on time and we professionally abated the flooring so as to aid in the preservation of the historic property.