The Wisconsin Architectural Archive was founded in 1975 and is a collection
of drawings which record the
talent and design styles of architects who shaped much of the appearance
and history of Wisconsin. The WAA’s carefully preserved
and meticulously processed collections span over 150 years
of architectural design.
Located in the Milwaukee Public Library's Central Library in downtown
Milwaukee, the WAA is dedicated to the acquisition and preservation of
architectural drawings and materials. Far too often these documents
have been destroyed because their significance was not recognized nor
a formal method of preservation established. By making available
that information which once was the exclusive property of the architectural
office, the Archive encourages public interest and understanding of Wisconsin’s
As of 2007, WAA holdings encompass more than 1200 projects
- representing more than 470 architects from firms dating
from 1851 to the present.
Librarians in the Art, Music and Recreation Department of the Central Library are available to provide assistance with WAA materials. Please call 414 286-3071 for information or to make an appointment or send an e-mail message through Ask Away, the library's online reference service. Central Library Hours
How to Use the Collection
WAA holdings are cataloged by architect’s name, building date,
building name, owner’s name, street address, and type of building.
WAA resources have proven invaluable for many different needs and types
- architects can examine original documents showing styles and technology
necessary for current work or study
- builders can obtain prints for remodeling purposes
- craftsmen can obtain authentic details from the past
- historians can discover the influence of or on a particular architect
- homeowners can learn the history of their homes
- students can learn more about how, when and why a particular style
online version of the catalog is under construction.
The WAA is sustained by private sources of funding supplemented by fees charged for reproductions of original drawings. The public is encouraged to visit the Central Library and examine the materials before deciding to purchase reproductions of drawings. For information, or to make an appointment, call ahead at (414) 286-3071.
Popular support and assistance in obtaining and processing significant collections are requisites for sustaining the Archive.