Introducing the History of 440 W. Vliet: Ascent Wellness Program's New Location
Summit Wellness and Ascent Wellness Program have been preparing for the Wisconsin winter months. While in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are continuing to provide safe services. However, our new spaces have not fully been quiet: it’s in full transformation and will be ready for the Grand Opening on December 1! Information on tours to follow!
We are excited to announce that Ascent Wellness Program’s newest clinic will be located at the corner of Vliet and 5th St. in downtown Milwaukee. In early August, The Boldt Company started construction inside our new wellness clinic. Before we introduce how our new space is taking shape and what it will become, we would like to take the opportunity to share the history of 440 W. Vliet’s previous tenants and its deep Milwaukee roots.
According to the Journal of the Brewery History Society, Eugene Louis Husting (August 14, 1848-November 27, 1916) immigrated to the United States, and eventually Wisconsin, from Germany. Husting founded The EL. Husting Brewery in 1877 at 440 W. Vliet. in Milwaukee.
The brewery was primarily focused on brewing Weiss beer in their eight-barrel brew kettles. After Husting’s death in 1916 and during Prohibition, the brewery primarily focused on bottled soda production. After Prohibition and until 1970, the building was used solely as a soda production plant.
“We have a unique experience of utilizing a building that adapted to the ages, different political periods, Prohibition and has been silently observing Milwaukee change with time,” says Cátia Figueiredo, Co-Owner of Summit Wellness, “The building has a vast history of change and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
Figueiredo and her husband Tony Langtimm, also Co-Owner of Summit Wellness, purchased the EL Husting Building in the fall of 2019. “[the building] was very clearly designed for our services,” says Langtimm when asked what drew him to the building. “[the building] already has hardwood floors and the ability for separation of services, for privacy and safety during the current COVID-19 pandemic”.
“It is also such an amazing building that invites people in. We've had many folks ask us who we are and what we do and what will take place in that space. We want to be fully immersed in this community, as it is also where we and some of our team lives. We are learning more, networking and connecting and very happy with this process!”
As of this writing, the EL Husting Brewery building is the oldest complete standing brewery structure in the city of Milwaukee and is listed in the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory. In quintessential Milwaukee style, the building features cream city brick; a style of brick only found in the Milwaukee area and was a popular building material during the mid and late 19th century. When facing East on 5th St., visitors can still see “EL Husting” engraved on the building’s peak, showcasing how well-kept the building has remained.
Before Summit Wellness, previous tenants at 440 W. Vliet were the Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center and Duet Resource Group. “The building has a lot of history and it was also a museum at one time. With the building being a center of knowledge, information and culture for Milwaukee, it’s awesome that we will be that too but in a different manner: an accessible wellness campus focused on empowerment, community and social justice” states Figueiredo.
“We also found out that our building was previously bought and reconstructed by another couple,” says Langtimm. “Cátia is an immigrant, like Husting was, and we are also a married couple that is reconstructing the same building, which parallels the history of the space a little bit.”
“The focus of the building has been, and will continue to be, about community. We’re excited to include our services into the history of the Husting building,” says both Figueiredo and Langtimm of Summit’s move. “The space is quiet, gathers a lot of light and it’s the perfect place for a rooftop garden as well: so much potential! We thank Boldt for all their help and support and hand holding through this process. We value having them as a support and having a company like this one in Milwaukee. They found the best building to meet our vision.”
We will be officially moving Summit Wellness into our new wellness clinic at 440 W. Vliet in late Fall 2020. We, again, thank The Boldt Company for their work in shaping our new spaces so that we can safely provide services in our community. To stay up to date on building updates, what our Open House will look like and more, please check out our Facebook page or this blog section!
About the Author: Ashley Kappers has been AWP's Communications Specialist and an AWP Educator since early 2020. She loves running, reading, writing and finding the best cheeses. She also thanks you for taking the time to check out this blog post!