September 22, 2015
News & Opinion: Memories of the Phoenix Building from Mel & Shawn
For 18 years we have made our home here in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward, but with books covering every last spare inch and spreading out over multiple floors of the sturdy Phoenix Building, we know the time has come to move. Many of our staff members have worked here on the third floor for all or most of those years, and we'd love to share some of their memories with you. Thank you to everyone who does business with 800-CEO-READ in a variety of ways, who has made this expansion possible! (Read more about our move here.) As of September 21, you can find us at: 544 S. 1st Street, Milwaukee WI 53204.
Next up is our magic accounting duo of Mel Koenig and Shawn Quinn:
I’ve always loved this building. Mostly because of its original purpose of housing Phoenix Hosiery, which is a nostalgia that I find endearing. I have always liked coming down the stairs and looking out the large stairway windows to the west, the dusty corners of the basement, the old freight elevator, the narrow wood planked floors that bore the weight of old hosiery knitting machines and grease from the mechanics that serviced them. Obviously, I find old manufacturing somewhat romantic. In the present, I have enjoyed passing our office neighbors and sharing a conversation with Nancy from Third Ward Association, the morning driver for Penworthy, the family that owns Au Bon Appetit, and of course my friend Art Elkon from Culver Design. It’s been a great place to spend 16 years of my work day.
I remember back in December 2000 after the Hoan Bridge buckled they had to blow up a part of it to begin repairs. I watched the explosion out our third floor windows with 8-year-old Andrew Koenig. Who is now my co-worker.
I remember how appreciative I was when Ryan Schleicher gave me his prized Johnny Cash (Backstage Hammersmith Odeon 1966) poster right before Ryan moved to New Orleans. Now Ryan is back and the poster has come full circle. Although I hear a rumor brother Aaron originally gave it to him.
You can read our General Manager Sally Haldorson's remembrance here.
About Blyth Meier
Blyth Meier joined us to lead our marketing department in 2015 after doing that work for the Milwaukee Film Festival for the previous five years. While she made good use her filmmaking degree at that job, here she returns to her first love—books. As an undergraduate English major at the University of North Dakota, Blyth’s favorite time of year was the annual Writers Conference, which brought many of her soon-to-be favorite authors to the remote Northern Prairie: Peter Matthiessen, August Wilson, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Natasha Trethewey, and Terry Tempest Williams. Blyth lives in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee, where she gardens, cooks, takes photographs, makes films, and participates in a yearly 24-hour bike race. At 800-CEO-READ, she runs our social media accounts, writes for In the Books, and is the keeper of all our marketing spreadsheets.