The William Plankinton Mansion was built in 1876 by John Plankinton upon the event of his son, William's, marriage to Mary Ella Woods. John Plankinton made his fortune running a meat packing company and William would later become successful in his own business ventures, founding the Plankinton Electric Light & Power Company, owning the West Portland Cement Company, and acting as the president and director of Johnson Service Company. The Plankintons were also heavily involved within the Milwaukee community. William served as a board member for the public museum, public library, Milwaukee industrial exposition and the Layton art gallery. William's mansion is fashioned in the Victorian style and amongst its greatest features were a marble face with a lion's head, ornate woodwork throughout and a stained glass window in the stairwell. William Plankinton died in 1905 and in 1918 the remaining family members chose to move to a different location as Wisconsin Avenue had begun to lose its charm as a residential neighborhood. The family sold the palatial structures and land to Marquette University in 1918 upon the condition that the homes be destroyed by 1920. Due to a legal loophole however, the mansions were saved. The William Plankinton mansion was used by Marquette University as an annex to the Trinity Hospital and later as the office for the Department of Athletics. The mansion was torn down in 1969 by Marquette University and was the first of the three Plankinton mansions to fall.
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