Beautiful patchwork of windows uncovered at this industrial West Allis building


This week on the Urban Spelunking podcast we’re talking about a West Allis factory building that was, until recently, covered up with a bland metal cladding. But when the metal sheets were recently removed, the original facade was uncovered, revealing hundreds of windows of different colors and ages, replaced over the building’s history.

Kearney & Trecker plant in West Allis. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo / OnMilwaukee

A look from the inside. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo / OnMilwaukee

The Kearney & Trecker plant, 6771 W. National Ave., dates back to 1918 and produced milling machinery. The company “was founded in Milwaukee in 1898 by Theodore Trecker and E.J. Kearney and moved to West Allis three years later,” writes Bobby Tanzilo for

Now vacant, the City of West Allis owns the building and is seeking proposals for its next chapter. Space will certainly not be an issue, as the floorplan spans 40,000 square feet and boasts wide open spaces, allowing developers to divide the space in nearly endless combinations.

Plenty of space inside allows for multiple configurations. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo / OnMilwaukee

While plans are not final, West Allis mayor Dan Devine has indicated he expects the space to be used as a food and beverage destination, either as a food hall, brewpub or distillery, event space and/or incubator for rising restaurateurs.

Listen to the podcast below to learn more about history of the factory itself and more about what we know about the factory’s future. And be sure to visit OnMilwaukee for more pictures and history.

Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo / OnMilwaukee

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