We Love Eau Claire.
Come see what we are up to.

The Milliner Conservatory is coming soon to the Pioneer Block of Eau Claire, WI! We are so excited to introduce Eau Claire to our one-of-a-kind creative space starting July 1, 2020. Our goal with this space is to give creatives of all walks of life the opportunity to create in an environment without distractions and limits to what your mind can dream up.

As a once upon a time photographer herself, owner Bobbie Sue Baker and current photographer and co-founder, Travis Dewitz understand what it’s like to be limited in spaces to use to create amazing images.

However, this space won’t only be for photography. We envision artists and small businesses of all kinds using the space. Your imagination is the only limit. Need a space to do some creative writing? We got you. We’re excited to begin offering yoga, pop-up shops featuring our favorite local makers, education events for other stylists featuring hard to book educators from the East and West Coasts, to Chicago and all over. We are so excited to see how this space grows and how you show us the infinite number of ways The MC can positively impact our community as a whole!

If interested in booking, remember we won’t be available to rent the space until July 1st, but send us a message and we will be glad to work with you in figuring out how we can help you reach your goals.

The Historic Water Street Pioneer Block

The Milliner Conservatory, also known as The MC, is located at 403 Water Street in Eau Claire, WI. The site now exists in what was once commonly called “The Pioneer Block,” however, the name has since faded away from common use.

The Pioneer Block consists of addresses 401-409 Water Street and was re-built using the influence of High Victorian Gothic and to replace the original wooden structure which was lost to fire in 1882. A spark from the docked steamboat, Minnie Hernas, on the Chippewa River ignited refuse behind the building, ultimately destroying the homes and livelihoods of seventy-three people. By 1883 the brick structure that now houses The MC and VER salon was built at a cost of $20,000. George Orff and his brother, Fremont, were commissioned to design a new building. The integrated design was intended to
take the place of several smaller buildings, in keeping with the modernization of commercial design popular at the time.

In 1984 The Pioneer Block was restored with federal funds and designated a historical landmark in August. The name, The Milliner comes from the connection to husband/wife team hat-makers or “milliners” in the 1900’s who operated their business out of the Pioneer Block. As the founding business,
VER is a hair salon, the connection to hat making seems only fitting.

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Let's work together!

We welcome you to contact us for more information about our Creative Use and Event Space!

Where Our Name Comes From

Arthur and Mae Hoffman operated Hoffman’s Dry Goods and Millinery at this location from 1914 to 1963.

Let’s Talk About Your Idea

Do you have any idea for The Milliner? Would you like to book this space maybe for an hour, maybe for the week?

What This Space Could Be Used For

Yoga Classes, Pop Up Shops, Training, Photoshoots, Dance Recital, Art Exhibit, Book Club

CALL: 715-318-9890