Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th, 2016, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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.


Many buildings and sites will be open for the entire DOORS OPEN MILWAUKEE event (Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18, 10am to 5pm). Others have restricted hours which are noted in the building listing.

Accessing the site
Open Archives Site
Spotlight Neighborhood
Area of Interest
  • Buck Bradley’s / A. Schoenleber Building

    Buck Bradley’s Eatery and Saloon features “The Longest Straight Shot Bar East of the Mississippi.” The building dates to 1854 as a one-story structure that incurred several expansions resulting in its current three-story configuration by 1882. This classic cream city building was gutted by fire in 1988 and meticulously restored from 1992-1995. Admire the first floor for not only the impressive bar, but also for the antique light fixtures, tile floor (which was laid specifically for Buck Bradley’s) and reconstructed cream city walls. Then venture up the staircase to the second floor to view two additional antique bars. A brief history and any questions will be answered by members of the owning family. Conclude or start your experience at Buck Bradley’s by enjoying their signature Bloody Mary’s, which will be specially priced at $6 for those visiting during Doors Open Milwaukee.

  • BURNHAM BLOCK – Frank Lloyd Wright – American System-Built Homes

    Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s American System-Built Homes on the historic Burnham Block will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary (1916-2016). Join us for a tour, learn about its 100 year history, its special architectural designs and the restoration in progress to return the block of six homes, two bungalows and 4 duplexes, to their original appearance. Mr. Wright took special interest in creating architect-designed affordable homes, with the American System-Built Homes an early example of prefabricated housing. Special attractions and exhibits will be featured as part of our 100th Celebration.

  • Calvary Cemetery Chapel

    Calvary Cemetery Chapel crowns the highest point in the cemetery and replaced a wooden cross that had stood on the summit for over 40 years. Designed by Erhard Brielmaier in 1899, this Romanesque Cream City brick chapel was intended for services, prayer, private contemplation, and also as a mausoleum for clergy. Later used for storage and facing demolition, the Friends of Calvary Cemetery was formed to restore the building. Visitors will experience a spectacular view, take a look at the chapel’s exterior, and may even browse the upper chapel and lower mausoleum. A work in progress, the chapel will provide a first hand glimpse at the challenges facing dedicated preservationists. For a more in-depth experience, a guided tour will be offered on each day of Doors Open.

  • Calvary Presbyterian Church

    Calvary Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Milwaukee in the Neo-Gothic (or Victorian Gothic) style. Constructed in 1870, Calvary was designed by architect Henry Koch in association with Julius Hess. Guides will welcome visitors and point out some of the historic features of Calvary, including the award-winning, 1998 redesign of the sanctuary, the historic and unique stained glass windows, and the repairs to the building from an arson’s fire in 1947. Guides will also tell the story of one member’s complaint that the west spire was too narrow to stand and that he could pull it down with a team of horses.

  • Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

    The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist has been the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee for more than 165 years. The building of the Cathedral began in 1847, combining Roman and Grecian architecture. The cream city brick structure was gutted by fire in 1935 and an expanded and restored Cathedral was rebuilt in time for the Centennial of the Archdiocese in 1943. A more recent renovation of the Cathedral was completed in 2001 that included the revitalization of the entire Cathedral block. Visitors to the Cathedral will experience the beauty and serenity of a truly sacred space. The interior and prayer garden are open for guided and self-guided tours as well as prayer, contemplation and respite. Guides will be present to greet visitors and share information about the Cathedral’s art work, history and purpose.

  • Catholic Financial Life

    The Catholic Financial Life’s 19-story structure was built specifically for the organization’s Home Office in 1970, and remains their headquarters today. This 9,930 square foot concrete structure features an attached 4.5 story parking structure, Milwaukee’s only downtown roof top pool/sundeck, and 120 residential apartments.

    For the very first time, visitors of the Catholic Financial Life building will have an opportunity to enter the on-site All Saints Chapel and stroll down memory lane while viewing a gallery of photos of historic Milwaukee.

  • Centerpointe Yacht Services FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    CenterPointe Yacht Services is a full service boatyard located on Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor that works in selling, servicing and storing over 300 boats each winter ranging in size from 25 feet up to 100 feet. Visitors can tour some of the boats offered for sale in our showroom as well as watch large boats being hauled out of the water with a 75 ton Marine Travelift and transported into the buildings for winter storage via a remote controlled Marine Transporter.

  • Central Library

    The Milwaukee Public Library’s Central Library opened in 1898 as a shared space with the Milwaukee Public Museum. The architectural firm of Ferry and Clas won the design competition and built a Neo-Renaissance style U-shaped building.
    Tours will be provided for the rotunda Dome, the third basement below grade (including the Drive-up Window), the 4th floor offices and workrooms that formerly served the Museum and the Green Roof, among other guided and self-guided tours.

  • Charles Allis Art Museum

    Designed by prominent Milwaukee architect Alexander Eschweiler and on the National Register of Historic Places, this Tudor home of Charles and Sarah Allis contains a world-class art collection that spans more than 2,000 years and includes 19th Century French and American paintings, classic antiquities, Renaissance bronzes, Asian ceramics and decorative arts. Charles Allis was the first president of the Allis-Chalmers Corporation. Self-guided tours will expose the visitor to this lavish 1911 Tudor home containing a superb collection of art with many 19th century French and American paintings.

  • Christ King Catholic Parish

    Designed by Brust & Brust Architects and constructed between 1955 and 1956, this 1,000 seat church was the last building on the one block campus of Christ King. The church has a Colonial/Georgian style and boasts a dignified simplicity in which function and form have been well thought out for sacred worship. The church structure includes both an extensive tunnel system as well as a structure above the church that can be visited. Visitors will access not only the main church and surrounding buildings but also visit the extensive tunnel system and structure above the church, which is accessed by stairs.