This month’s ‘Spot a Clock’ is the C.H. Coakley Bros. Building, located at 3742 West Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee.
Coakley Bros. (www.chcoakley.com) is one of the longest continually operating businesses in Milwaukee. Three brothers (Charlie, Bill, and George) founded Lightning Delivery and Express in 1888 to provide delivery services from Milwaukee’s rail yards and docks. Charlie and George Coakley started a second delivery businesses, Coakley Bros., shortly thereafter. The business diversified in the 1920s to provide moving, warehousing and storage services. As part of this strategy, Coakley Bros. constructed several warehouses in the city, including this one on Wisconsin Avenue.
This building was constructed in 1929. The building was designed by Alexander Eschweiler, a prominent Milwaukee architect. Mr. Eschweiler designed several noted Milwaukee landmarks, including the Wisconsin Gas Building. The Coakley Bros. Building features several interesting architectural details, such as decorative tile, ironwork, copper, and terra cotta.
The clock movement was a Seth Thomas Model No. 6 movement, serial number 2669. The Seth Thomas factory records, available through the NAWCC website, provides details regarding the production of the clock movement and the custom dials.
Unfortunately, the current building owners indicate the movement is no longer in the building, having been removed at some unknown time. A new dial and movement were recently installed, so the clock at least continues to display time to the surrounding community.
If you would like to suggest a clock for the newsletter’s ‘Spot a Clock’, please contact Ed Buc at the Chapter meetings or by email.