Saturday, December 13, 2008

Viking Apartments

Continuing on our Wisconsin themed posts (you did know, didn't you, that we had this theme going?), I present here, the patented plans of the Viking Apartments in Milwaukee by one Herbert W. Tullgren in 1931. Yes, I did say patented, U.S. Patent # 1,896,734. His plan, used several times in Milwaukee, features a skip-stop elevator set-up with duplex or maisonette units, with the elevator stopping only at the living room floors. While I'm not a big fan of design patents, I do find it rather interesting that he did so. Unfortunately this set-up is not very common in the US due to our, perhaps admittedly over-stringent fire codes and overly paranoid and litigious society, however it works quite well for creating a house like, even exclusive feel to what would otherwise be an ordinary apartment, as well as saving money on construction by having fewer elevator doors and creating more rentable, leaseable and saleble space within the building, or by allowing more, larger units with fewer elevators (the other solution for large elevator apartments would be more elevators with smaller lobbies). It is also an attractive simple art deco or moderne building of white masonry construction.
As a sidenote or aside, the building is on the National Register for it's contribution to it's local area.

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