Five years ago, two couples joined forces and purchased a Walker’s Point building that was on the brink of demolition.
Today, after a complete and conscientious renovation, the 1882-built structure, 429 W. National Ave., houses a multi-faceted events space called The George – named for the founder of Walker’s Point, George Walker – with a swanky, versatile party space on the ground floor called The Madcap Lounge. The building also features 12 remodeled apartments on the top floors.
“All of the spaces at The George are historic, contemporary and re-imagined,” says Jay Franke, who designed the entire space and co-owns it with his partner, David Herro, and Mike and Vicky Morrison.
The main part is called the Ballroom, an open, airy and elegant area for weddings, ceremonies or other events. It features 20-foot ceilings, massive windows, bountiful and creative plant arrangement, and an enormous collection of Wisconsin art from the 1920s to the present.
“Our art collection tells the story of what’s been happening in Milwaukee over the past 100 years,” says Franke.
The Ballroom seats up to 175 people and is managed by Saz’s, a beloved local catering service headquartered just two blocks away.
The “Celebration Suite” is next to The Ballroom and serves as a place for the bride to prepare for their wedding or a lovely spot for intimate festivities such as engagement parties, dress fittings or baby showers.
Highpoints of the room include a velvet rouged ceiling, retro refrigerator that serves as the “mini bar” and an exquisite collection of art and furniture.
The Madcap Lounge, located on the lower level of The George, has its own entrance or can be accessed via the Ballroom.
It features a reception area, full bar, billiards room, library and myriad seating areas for more intimate conversation.
Like on the walls of the upper level, local art fills the walls of the lounge with color and narrative. A large depiction of George Walker, created by Milwaukee artist Rosy Petri, commands the center of the space. (Below)
A second re-imagined George Walker portrait, this one by Janet Roberts, hangs on the first floor.
“We really wanted to have George be a part of our space, so we have ‘upstairs George’ who is prepared for any event and ‘downstairs George’ who is ready to party,” says Franke.
To tour The George / Madcap Lounge or to find out more about the venue, visit the website.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.