By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 30, 2021 at 9:04 AM

Thanks to the continuing digging of Adam Levin of the Old Milwaukee Facebook group, we have more amazing vintage photographs of Downtown Milwaukee to share.

Six of these nine images were taken from the top of then still relatively new Marine Bank building, now Chase Plaza, 111 E. Wisconsin Ave.

The tower, completed in 1961, is the only building with the kind of height required to provide the views seen in these photos.

In one looking north, you can spy the top of the now-disappeared Pabst Building directly across Wisconsin Avenue. In another, looking east along the south side of Wisconsin Avenue toward the lake, you can see the Railway Exchange.

These photographs – uncovered by Levin at an estate sale – were taken in 1964. We can tell because in one image in the set, the name of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 film “Marnie” (an interesting coincidence, as it’s an anagram of Marine!) is listed on the Riverside Theater marquee.

Also, the Kodak box in which the slides were contained had a postmark dated Sept. 2 that year.

They offer a great look at the city the Beatles visited that Sept. 4 for a performance at the Arena.

In one looking southwest, you’ll notice the absence of the both the high-rise I-94 bridge and the lower-lying I-794 stretch running through Downtown.

One of the most interesting to me is a view looking west along Michigan Street, which allows us to see the many buildings lost in the early 1980s for the construction of the Grand Avenue Mall parking structures.

Among those buildings were the Antlers Hotel, the Plankinton Hotel and others.

The final three shots offer views of the early stages of the construction of architect Edmund W. Kowalski’s 811 E. Wisconsin Ave. building, completed in 1966.

That building – called Juneau Square North – still stands.

In one of the images, you can see the Northwestern Mutual building located diagonally across Wisconsin Avenue, and in another you can see Juneau Square South, 622 N. Cass St., designed by the same architect and built around the same time.

One of the shots is blurry, but it’s included here because it includes that little peek of Wisconsin Avenue.

The photos appear to be taken by a member of the Reinders family, based on information on the photo box, but it’s unclear who exactly we have to thank for capturing these glimpses of Milwaukee in 1964.

1964
Looking northwest along the river. The Riverside marquee offers a clue to the date.
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1964
Looking west along West Michigan Street.
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1964
Looking north along the river, note the top of the Pabst building in the lower right.
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1964
Looking southwest, note the absence of freeways.
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1964
Looking east along East Wisconsin Avenue.
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1964
Juneau Square North construction.
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1964
Juneau Square North construction.
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1964
Juneau Square North construction, with Wisconsin Gas and Northwestern Mutual visible.
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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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.