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
  • Central Library

    The Milwaukee Public Library’s Central Library opened in 1898 as a shared space with the Milwaukee Public Museum. Visitors to the Central Library may take a variety of tours of areas normally unavailable to the public.

    814 W. Wisconsin Avenue (accessible entry at 813 W. Wells Street)
  • Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear

    Visitors to the Chudnow will see a collection of artifacts from the 1920s through the 1940s in rooms depicting a barbershop, grocery store, ice cream parlor, hardware store, pharmacy, doctor’s office, toy store window, radio store, and even a hidden room–a speakeasy.

    839 N. 11th Street
  • City Lights Brewing Company

    4 Brothers officially opened a craft brewery in February of 2017 utilizing two of the iconic Milwaukee Gas Light Company campus buildings and re-launched as “The City Lights Brewing Company”. With buildings designed by the famous Alexander Eschweiler, the first steel exported from Pennsylvania by Andrew Carnegie and brickwork hand-glazed by Tiffany; the City Lights buildings will amaze, educate and delight you. Visitors will be able to see the majesty of the restored 115 year old building which has been transitioned into a state-of the art brewery.

    2210 W Mt. Vernon Avenue
  • City of Milwaukee / Waukesha County Recycling Education Center and Materials Recycling Facility (MRF)

    The City of Milwaukee’s recycling building houses state-of-the-art sorting equipment and serves as a regional single-stream MRF in partnership with Waukesha County. Visitors can see the baling equipment and recyclables from the observation room, while also learning about products made from recyclable materials and the role recycling plays in our sustainable future.

    1401 W. Mount Vernon Avenue
  • Clock Shadow Building

    The Clock Shadow Building is a ground-breaking, sustainable building that was opened in 2012 and set a community standard for green development. Visitors may engage in self-guided tours via building signage that highlights how a former brownfield became a community catalyst for development.

    130 W. Bruce Street
  • Colby Abbot Building

    The Colby-Abbot Building, located in the heart of East Town, was built in 1885 as the home office of the Wisconsin Central Railroad. Using white marble imported from Italy, wide corridors and bay windows, this five-story structure was, and continues to be, a magnificent addition to Milwaukee’s skyline. The sixth story was added at the turn of the century to meet the need for commercial office space in Milwaukee’s growing economy.

    759 N. Milwaukee St
  • Compost Crusader / The Steel Farmer

    Compost Crusader & The Steel Farmer are 2 small businesses sharing a warehouse space. Compost Crusader is an organics hauling company that diverts food scraps from businesses and residents. The Steel Farmer is a small metal fabrication shop that utilizes older fabrication equipment to make utilitarian and decorative metal structures. Matthew Scannella, owner of Steel […]

    1780 E Bolivar Ave, St. Francis, WI, 53207
  • Cream City Clay

    Cream City Clay, Inc. is located in the heart of downtown West Allis on the Corner of 71st and Greenfield Ave., one block from Allis Chambers. Originally clad in cream city brick, the pottery school and studio proudly inhabits a beautiful red brick building constructed in 1904.

    7105 W. Greenfield Avenue, West Allis
  • Cream City Real Estate Co. (formerly St. Francis State Bank)

    Cream City Real Estate Co. was designed by renowned architect Peter Brust of the firm Brust & Phillipp in 1923. The building has been renovated to reflect the building’s first use as a bank in the 1920’s. On display are many mementos of Bay View history, as well as objects produced in Milwaukee and bearing the name of the Cream City.

    3474 S Pennsylvania Avenue (on the corner of Kinnickinnic and Morgan Avenue)
  • Cudahy Train Depot / Cudahy Historical Society

    The railroad built the Depot in 1893, at which time it consisted of men’s and women’s waiting rooms, a telegrapher’s office, and an attic for storage. Visitors to the Cudahy Train Depot and Cudahy Historical Society will experience a trip back in time in the beautiful, fully renovated train depot.

    4647 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue