Earlier this summer in a blog posting about blocks of flats in Milwaukee, I mentioned St. James Court, 825-31 W. Wisconsin Ave., designed in 1895 and erected in 1903, by Ferry & Clas, and located directly across Wisconsin Avenue from the architects' Central Library.
Now, John Hennessey of the Hennessey Group, which owns and manages the building, tells us in an email that tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 1, Ald. Bob Bauman will be at the building at 5 p.m. to help celebrate St. James Court's 110th birthday and its addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
Hennessey says Bauman will "share insight regarding Saint James Court and on the role of historic buildings in downtown redevelopment.
"The design," Hennessey continues, "was influenced by certain concepts of the 'City Beautiful' movement which had been featured at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. In 1903, when the land became available, the Saint James Court Apartments were built on Milwaukee’s main street, Wisconsin Avenue. Alfred Clas of Ferry and Clas and numerous well known Milwaukeeans lived at Saint James Court over the years.
"Saint James Court stands at a special place on Wisconsin Avenue. This place, with its Court of Honor in the boulevard, venerable churches, the heavily-used and monumental Central Library, the popular Wisconsin Club and the Saint James Court building, is a living example of how built examples of City Beautiful principles continue to combine aesthetics and function to create a framework for society."
With 30 apartments in a variety of sizes, the six-story Saint James Court has been completely restored, beginning in 1994, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Interior’s standards for historic renovation, says Hennessey.
The apartments boast hardwood floors, decorative fireplaces, stained glass, claw-foot tubs and high ceilings. The building also has a mahogany and marble entrance and a restored birdcage elevator.
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.