Doors Open Milwaukee is a two-day public celebration of Milwaukee’s art, architecture, culture and history. This event offers behind the scenes tours of more than 150 buildings throughout Milwaukee’s downtown and neighborhoods and 40+ ticketed tours led by community leaders.

The buildings featured on this page participated in 2017.

Stay tuned for 2018 program information coming in July.

How it works

  • Use the filter below to build your own itinerary.
  • No tickets necessary.
  • Start when and where you like.
  • Visits to any of the buildings and sites below are free of charge.
  • Free guided tours are often available.
  • Please click on the sites below to view extended details.
  • Note: Like all sites, museums are free, unless otherwise described.


Please note that not all buildings are open for the entire Doors Open event (Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24, 10 am to 5 pm). Please confirm the hours in the building listing before you visit.


Search Buildings by Name or Keyword
Area of Interest
Spotlight Neighborhoods
  • War Memorial Center

    The War Memorial Center is the stunning architectural achievement of renowned Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen. It stands as southeast Wisconsin’s most visible tribute to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Visitors to War Memorial Center will see the structure and serene settings designed to honor the 3,481 Milwaukee County men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Veterans and living historians will talk about patriotism and the American military experience. Doors Open Milwaukee visitors will get exclusive access to the top-floor board room overlooking Lake Michigan, the parking structure underneath the Mason Street Bridge and the west-facade balcony – open to the public for the first time! Kids will enjoy various scavenger hunts throughout the building and grounds.

    750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
  • WasteCap Architectural Salvage Warehouse

    WasteCap Architectural Salvage Warehouse is a retail store which carries antique and vintage building materials and decor. Visitors will experience the WasteCap Architectural Salvage Warehouse through a self-guided brochure walking tour of the warehouse.

    2123 W Michigan St, Milwaukee WI 53233
  • We Energies Public Service Building

    This 112 year old, neoclassic gem, with matched Italian marble walls and a second-floor art deco auditorium, played an important role in changing Milwaukee with trains, buses, electricity, natural gas, steam heat and even appliances sales, serving as the utility’s headquarters the entire time. Visitors to the Public Service Building will take self-guided tours of the ornate lobby, corporate conference center and the second-floor, art deco auditorium.

    231 W. Michigan Street
  • Well-Rounded Maternity Center

    Find out how Well-Rounded Maternity Center is helping to build community for our families! Activities for kids on both days!

    2455 S. Howell Ave. Milwaukee, WI, 53207
  • Wells Building

    Daniel Wells, who was reported to be the wealthiest man in Wisconsin at the time, completed the Wells Building in 1902. The architect was Henry C Koch, whose works include Milwaukee City Hall, the Pfister Hotel, and the Church of Gesu on the Marquette University campus. One of Milwaukee’s first steel frame high-rise structures, the Wells Building was the world’s largest terra cotta building at the time of its construction.

    324 E. Wisconsin Avenue
  • Wells Street Vertical Lift Bridge

    Wells Street Vertical Lift Bridge is one of only nine bridges that share design features found nowhere else. The City of Milwaukee developed the towerless vertical lift bridge in the 1960’s. These structures combine selected advantages of both types of bridges in locations where requirements for raised vertical clearances are limited. The clean lines associated with a girder-type bascule are combined with the functionality associated with a single movable span and hydraulic operation. Blocking of the roadways on both sides of the channel is also accomplished without additional powered mechanisms. See how a bridge works from a bridge operator’s perspective. There will be 2-3 openings per hour during the event.

    101 E. Wells Street
  • West Allis Historical Society Museum / Garfield School

    Located in what was once the township of North Greenfield, this cream city brick schoolhouse was erected in 1887 on the site of the first brick Honey Creek School, which was built in 1855. The schoolhouse combined both grade and high school when it first opened, and features a bell tower that was reconstructed in […]

    8405 W. National Avenue
  • Wisconsin Black Historical Society

    The Museum exhibits, collects and disseminates materials depicting this heritage. Serving as a resource center for all people interested in Wisconsin’s rich African American heritage, the Museum’s purpose is to encourage and promote family community and cultural activities. Visitor will experience a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation about Wisconsin’s African American history spanning 1760 to 1980.

    2620 W. Center Street
  • Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

    A fully functioning music school, this neo-classical revival style mansion, completed in 1904, was home to industrialist Charles L. McIntosh; then linseed oil businessman William Osborne Goodrich prior to the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in 1934. Take a guided ‘highlights’ tour, offered every hour on the hour, or explore the building at your leisure with a self-guided tour pamphlet. Live performances will be presented throughout the day by the Conservatory’s students.

    1548 N. Prospect Avenue
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee

    The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee has had a presence in downtown Milwaukee since beginning operations over 150 years ago. The current location of the Downtown YMCA opened in 1998 in the historic John Plankinton Building (which also houses the Shops of Grand Avenue). The Downtown YMCA will offer information on YMCA membership and programs. Group Exercise demonstrations will be available and will feature TRX and Functional training.

    161 w. Wisconsin Avenue Ste. 4000 Milwaukee, WI 53203