Alterra Coffee Roasters:
Historic Pumping Station Becomes a Favorite Place by the Lake

Milwaukee’s old lakefront pump house built in 1888 pumped water from the Milwaukee River into Lake Michigan. After a restoration in the 1990’s, the building became a historical museum.

An opportunity was presented by Milwaukee to convert the historic building, which has a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, into a coffee house. Alterra Coffee Roasters jumped at the opportunity. Keeping the historic charm was top priority while creating a functional retail environment. Structurally there were existing elements like the flooring, delicate steel trusses which hold up the roof and big arched windows that needed evaluating and reinforcing. A mezzanine level was created for dining, supported by post and beam construction. The end result is a destination meeting place with artistic gritty charm and a mix of industrial, natural and recycled materials.

Location: Milwaukee, WI

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