By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 16, 2017 at 8:48 AM

Get your Milwaukee history fix this summer with OnMilwaukee's Urban Spelunking, sponsored by DearMKE. Fall in love with Milwaukee and its stories on, or go on your own urban exploration and share your photos and your stories of Milwaukee with #DearMKE on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Jalem Getz, the president of Wantable, an online retailer based in Milwaukee, has purchased the old Milwaukee Fire Department Fire House, Ladder Company No. 5, at 1945 N. Bartlett Ave. and plans to convert it into a single family residence.

The building, decommissioned as a fire house in 1914, has long served as location for ABC Kortsch Moving and Storage company.

Getz has submitted his plan to the city, along with a couple renderings, which you can see here, showing how the finished project will look. Getz hopes to begin construction in October and expects the work to take about 14 to 18 months.

Plans were drawn by Gregg Prossen of Milwaukee's Consortium a/e.

He’s invited OnMilwaukee to track the changes as they occur so watch this space for updates as the project moves along. We’ll visit to take some "before" photos in September, before the work commences.

"I 've been pleasantly surprised at all the attention this project is getting," Getz says, "from neighbors to friends expressing their enthusiasm."

The renderings show why. The lovely old public building will get a buff and polish on the inside and outside, where the entire neighborhood can enjoy the restored cream city break structure designed by longtime MFD firefighter and architect Sebastian Brand.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.