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Baumbach Building
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
BaumbachBldg Apr13.jpg
Baumbach Building is located in Wisconsin
Baumbach Building
Location in Wisconsin
Baumbach Building is located in the United States
Baumbach Building
Location in the United States
Location 302 N. Broadway St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Area less than one acre
Built 1900 (1900)
Architect Eugene R. Liebert
Architectural style Chicago School
Part of Historic Third Ward District (ID84003724)
NRHP reference No. 83003403
Added to NRHP March 3, 1983

The Baumbach Building, also known as the Midwest Lamp Company or The Buffalo, is a historic building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. Part of the Historic Third Ward, the five-story building was one of the city's first Chicago School factories.


The Baumbach Building was designed by German architect Eugene R. Liebert, who was commissioned by Ernest Von Baumbach. It was built in the Third Ward, a former residential district which had been largely destroyed in an 1892 fire. In its place, a warehouse district emerged. The five-story building was started in 1899 and completed the next year. The Von Baumbachs were a prominent German family in Milwaukee; patriarch Ludwig was previously a member of the Frankfurt Parliament and served in Milwaukee as the Consul of the German Empire. Ernest was his sixth son and pursued a career in real estate.

The building was first used as a clothes factory by the Cohen Brothers, with 150 employees making clothes for lumberjacks and miners. By 1940 it was used primarily as a warehouse. Starting in 1946 the Midwest Lamp & Novelty Co. used the building for plating, making shades, assembly and storage.

The building was recognized by the National Park Service with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places on March 3, 1983. On March 8, 1984, the building became a contributing property of the Historic Third Ward District.


The building is located on Commission Row, a section of the Third Ward historically dominated by the produce wholesale business. Its design is a blend of an early Chicago School motif with Renaissance Revival influences. The main entrance is recessed 10 feet (3.0 m) behind a light grey stone column. The capital of the column is consistent with German design with carved heads in relief. The Baumbach stands 80 by 120 feet (24 m × 37 m) with four bays on the west side and six bays on the south side. The first floor has large storefront windows while the second, third, and fourth floor windows are double-hung. The fifth floor features round arched windows which are separated with carved lions' heads on a Celtic cross medallion. Carved crowns in a cartouche decorate the second floor corners. The interior was originally a standard warehouse design, but the first floor has since been divided into office space.

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