What is Grand Avenue Club?

We are a community. We come from low income, middle class, and wealthy families. We have varied educational and work experiences. We are diverse in religion, cultural and ethnic backgroud, and identity. What we have in common is a diagnosis of mental illness. Through working together, we help each other discover our abilities, build relationships that help in recovery, and make progress in reaching goals. We cut down on isolation because members know they are needed here.

What makes us different?

  • We are voluntary. We are here for people who are taking responsibility for their own lives; people want to be here.

  • We focus on the work-ordered day. Each day is structured on what needs to be accomplished to run the Clubhouse

  • We are strength-based, not clinical.

  • Our members are working throughout the Metropolitan area. at employers such as Colectivo, Foley & Lardner, 600 East Cafe, Outpost Natural Foods, and more

  • We are part of an international movement. There are more than 320 Clubhouses in 32 countries. We are the only Clubhouse in Milwaukee.

  • Staff and members relate as “peers and partners”. There are no formal staff or member only areas or meetings. The Clubhouse is operated by members and staff working together to run the Clubhouse.

  • We are colleagues; members, staff, interns, and volunteers all work together as colleagues. 


The History of 210 E Michigan St.

Construction began in the Summer of 1856 on the corner of Michigan and Water Street for the State Bank of Wisconsin. It opened on the same day as the Newhall House (August 20,1857).

The Newhall House was a hotel which burned tragically on January 10, 1883. Our building was instrumental in saving lives.

The building was constructed of Joliet limestone. Five hundred tons were used that was brought here from Chicago by ship. The other portion of the stone was used to construct Milwaukee’s first Federal building in 1857 on the site of the Wells Building.

In January, 1859 the Bank of Milwaukee opened on the adjacent lot to the East. The building was designed by Alfred C. Nash and its stone was carved by John Andres.

It is the last surviving building that Nash designed in Milwaukee. The National Exchange Bank moved out in 1886. The Milwaukee National Bank was voluntarily liquidated on August 29,1912 and its assets turned over to the First National Bank of Wisconsin.

In 1903 the two buildings were combined. The entrance of the unified building became the Bank of Milwaukee entrance at 201 East Michigan Street. The former entrance to the Milwaukee National bank was closed and replaced by a window.

This building, besides many office tenants, has housed a bank, insurance company (with real estate) Marine Bank credit card department and an architectural firm (which was part of creating Miller Park). There’s even a rumor that Abraham Lincoln cashed a check in this building during the late 1850’s!

Since 2001 our building has been owned and occupied by Grand Avenue Club, a non-profit organization that provides opportunities to people who have experienced mental illness.

If you are interested in seeing the full historic scope of our building, please visit us during Doors Open!

If you are interested in seeing what we do at Grand Avenue Club, we cordially invite you to schedule a tour at outreach@grandavenueclub.org.