Bank First makeover gets OK in Cedarburg

By Christina Luick

Sept. 19, 2019

Stone, composite wood and zinc will be the three primary materials used in the
design of the Bank First building in downtown Cedarburg.

Renderings courtesy of TKWA

CEDARBURG — The home of Bank First, formerly Partnership Bank at W61 N529 Washington Ave., will be getting a new look.

The Cedarburg Common Council approved a certificate of appropriateness for the business at its most recent meeting. Architect Allen Washatko of Kubala Washatko Architects Inc. presented renderings and explained the design to the commission.

The Cedarburg Landmarks Commission recommended approval to the commission after discussions with the architect firm about the design.

The plaster that is currently covering the building will be removed and the building will be refaced with three different materials, stone, a composite wood and zinc, to separate the long elevation of the two separate buildings, according to the Cedarburg Landmarks Commission minutes.

A stone veneer will be applied to the east side of the bank (Washington Avenue). The portion of the building that is not the bank will be clad in composite wood.

Space inside the building will be leased to other firms.

The view from Washington Avenue.
Renderings courtesy of TKWA

The renderings show the west side of the building will contain the majority of the wood.

The north side of the building on Mill Street will be clad in Rheinzink, a manufacturer of titanium zinc products. A small portion of that material will be shown on the west side of the building.

The new design will also include a 22 foot high clerestory tower at the main entrance of the building.

Plan Commissioner Pat Thome attended the first Landmarks Commission meeting and said she liked the design.

“I’m comfortable with where this is going,” she said.

City Planner Jon Censky said the Landmarks Commission wanted people to know of the different types of buildings that are in the historic preservation district: contributing and noncontributing buildings and why they would approve a design like this in the district.

“It’s a district that includes critical buildings to the district, those are pivotal buildings,” he said. “Those are the most important, most historic buildings in the area. There’s contributing buildings which contribute to the pivotal buildings and the district itself.” Censky explained that the Landmarks Commission studies old historic pictures to make sure that when it comes to possible changes that are critical to the downtown area they make sure it stays consistent and reflects the historic building.

“But when they’re dealing with non-contributing buildings they have a little bit more latitude in terms of how they look at that building,” he said. “What they want to do is make sure it is not an exact replica of a historic building but that there is a distinction between the historic buildings and the newer buildings.”