News / 8.25.16

Throwback Thursday – Kohl’s Food Stores

Modernist office, bakery and distribution center serving Milwaukee & South Eastern Wisconsin

For this week's Epstein Throwback Thursday we bring you the Epstein designed and engineered Kohl's Food Stores office, bakery and distribution center located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. This 133,000 square foot project, completed in September 1959, featured two coolers for produce, one for dairy products, a large bakery, as well as modernist lobby/office space and a data processing room.

Wauwatosa is a suburb of Milwaukee and this facility located on Burleigh Street (northeast of the intersection of US 45 and Burleigh) served as Kohl's administrative facility and main distribution center (complete with multiple truck docks as well as rail) and bakery for its Milwaukee & South Eastern Wisconsin stores. Kohl's operated out of this facility until August 2003 when the Kohl's Food Stores brand was eliminated by its owner – The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P). Alas, this building no longer stands as well, having been recently demolished to make room for the second phase on a new mixed-use development called the Mayfair.

For those of you not familiar with the Kohl's Food Stores brand and its place in Milwaukee/South Eastern Wisconsin - here's a little history of the company from the website – razedinmilwaukee.com:

'In the 50s, Kohl's was one of the pioneers in what we think of the "modern" supermarket, including a deli and bakery under one roof; a practice that, now commonplace, was at the time unusual. By 1972, there were 50 Kohl's Food Stores in southeastern Wisconsin; Kohl's had become the largest supermarket chain in Milwaukee. The Kohl's family branded grocery stores were sold to A&P in 1983, but continued to operate under the Kohl's Food Store name. It wasn't until 2003 that A&P decided to sell off Kohl's Food Stores in response to needed debt reduction, and by the end of that year, Kohl's Food Stores were closed.'