The location of 100 East Wisconsin at the northwest corner of East Wisconsin Avenue and North Water Street has historically been viewed as the oldest building site within the city. This was the location of Milwaukee's first European settlement by Henry Vieau, the site of city founder Solomon Juneau's original cabin and trading post constructed in 1820 and the site of the 235-foot (72 m), 14-story Pabst Building constructed in 1891 and demolished in 1981.
After failing to develop a high-rise called River Place in the early 1980s, the owners of 100 East Wisconsin sold the property to Charlotte developer Faison Associates in December 1987. Following the purchase, in January 1987 Faison released renderings of the tower designed by the Charlotte architecture firm of Clark, Tribble, Harris & Li.
With plans in place, in March 1987 workers began to deconstruct the park in place at the location of the tower. The landscaping removed was relocated to Marquette University and the benches donated to the West End Community Center. Construction of the concrete framed structure began in mid-1987 with occupancy occurring in April 1989.
Designed by Clark, Tribble, Harris & Li, the tower features a rectangular footprint and is topped with a crown that similar to that of the former Pabst Building and the Milwaukee City Hall. Additionally, the arches at the base were designed also to pay homage to those at the base of the Pabst Building of the Flemish Renaissance style.