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.

Area of Interest
Accessing the site
Spotlight Neighborhood
  • 5th District School (Garfield School)

    This 1887 cream city brick schoolhouse in the Greenfield township was erected on the site of the first brick Honey Creek School (1855). The school, which combined both grade and high school, features a bell tower that was reconstructed in 1973. This building became part of the West Allis school system in 1902 and was used as a grade school until 1923. Walk through a unique collection of historic artifacts, including a 1900’s dental office, a tool room, a pioneer room, a general store and blacksmith shop. Visitors can “ring the school bell”, operate a player piano, and vote on an early 1940’s voting machine. The Museum has an extensive doll collection and room dedicated to the industry that once defined the area. A research library is located in the lower level as well.

  • 600 East Wisconsin Building

    Built in 1913 by architects Schnetzky & Sons as a home for the Milwaukee Gas Light Company, 600 EAST Wisconsin was renovated by its current owner, Dan Nelson, Jr., to house his marketing agency, Nelson Schmidt Inc. The agency is located on the second and third floors (2006), and in order to reintroduce retail to the east end of Wisconsin Avenue, the street level of the building features 600 EAST Café & Business Center (2014). Visitors are welcome to visit the new 600 EAST Café & Business Center and examine the exposed architectural features in one of the last remaining 3-story buildings on E. Wisconsin Avenue from the early 1900s, all while enjoying a cup of coffee, breakfast or lunch and perusing several historical large-format photographs of the building and Milwaukee’s Central Business District.

  • 833 East Michigan

    This 18 story, Class A multi-tenant office tower is the newest addition to downtown Milwaukee’s resurgent skyline. In the center of Milwaukee’s commercial business district, 833 East combines elegant design, incredible views, state-of-the-art technology and premium tenant amenities.

    The tower is environmentally sustainable and features unmatched high visibility. 833 East offers stunning views making it the premier new office development in downtown Milwaukee.

    There will be tours of the 1st and 4th floor common area spaces during Doors Open Milwaukee.

  • Above View, Inc.

    Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ABOVE VIEW INC., was founded in 1984 with the vision to produce artisan quality ornamental plaster ceiling tiles on a commercial scale for commercial applications. Above View is a favored source for ornamental plaster ceiling tile in styles ranging from traditional to geometric, contemporary and avant-garde.

    Visitors will be provided a guided tour of Above View’s showroom, will get introduced to over 80 exquisite ceiling designs, and will learn about the company’s history. They will also be allowed to visit the plant floor where they will witness the creation of Above View’s plaster and glass fiber artisan ceiling tiles.

  • Adventure Rock MKE and Belay Apartments

    Adventure Rock MKE and Belay Apartments is a collaboration between Adventure Rock Climbing Gym and the Mandel Group. This is the first development of it kind to combine residential housing with an indoor climbing facility.

  • All Peoples Gathering Lutheran Church

    The church’s magnificent stained glass windows and other architectural delights provide the physical framework for a diverse mix of educational, ecological and social justice outreaches. There is a garden/green house/water reclamation project embedded in the church’s youth oriented programs, as well as a life size Salvadoran cross, which reflects the church’s commitment to a world view of social justice issues. A partnership with St. Vincent de Paul resulted in a major kitchen renovation for the building that will be completed this year, and the church will soon serve dinner to 200+ people every week day.

  • Ambassador Hotel

    Built in 1928, The Ambassador Hotel has stood as a Milwaukee icon for many years. The art deco style and structure of the building have been meticulously restored over the years. Boasting some of the best rooms for the best value, as well as superior customer service, The Ambassador Hotel is the premier place to stay in Milwaukee. Learn about the building’s restoration process and view architectural photo galleries from over the years on a guided tour of this beloved landmark.

  • American Red Cross Family Passport Site

    2600 W. Wisconsin Ave was built in 1961 by architecture firm Ebling, Plunkett & Keymar. The building was built specifically for the American Red Cross and has been owned by the American Red Cross ever since. Celebrating 100 years of service in Wisconsin, the Red Cross invites you to come and visit their Wisconsin Region Headquarters. Experience a day in the life of a ‘Red Crosser’, experience daily operations, take a self-guided tour, and learn what it’s like to be part of the Disaster Action Team.

  • Anderson Municipal Building / Lake Tower

    The Anderson Municipal Building/Lake Tower is a classic example of Art Deco design. Constructed in 1940, it housed the Town of Lake municipal office and water tower. It now serves as an office for the Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services. Visitors can participate in a self-guided tour from the lobby through the third floor where they will have a beautiful view of the southern part of Milwaukee County and the downtown skyline.

  • Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

    The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is the last major building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Opened in July of 1961, the general theme of the Church is a Greek cross with its circular components, which is symbolic throughout the Church. Visitors will be awed and inspired by its beauty. Guided tours will include information about the architecture of the building as well as insight into the physical elements and the religion of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

  • ASQ Center

    Curious about what’s in the former Gimbels building? Housed in what used to be the famous Gimbels Department Store (and later Marshall Field’s), the ASQ Center is the global headquarters of ASQ and home to many businesses. ASQ staff will take guests on a 20-minute tour of ASQ, pointing out many unique features and telling the story of this historic building’s transition from department store to a modern office building.

  • Bank of Milwaukee Building

    The Bank of Milwaukee building is the oldest commercial building on the only block of existing nineteenth century architecture in the city. Visitors will see the structural features of an architectural gem, including original marble fireplaces and floor safes that were manufactured in the 1850’s and used to store piles of cash. In addition, visitors will see how respectful renovations can serve a twenty first century need.

  • Basilica of St. Josaphat

    The Basilica stands alone. The year was 1896 and Polish immigrants were pouring into the south side of Milwaukee, reaching numbers of more than 12,000. Reverend Wilhelm Grutza had a vision – to build a grand church, one the community would be proud of – in order to honor Polish heritage and be a destination for people from around the world.

    Visitors to the Basilica will experience inspiration beyond their imaginations. They will step back in time and learn how the energy and passion of our founding brothers and sisters erected this “ignored wonder of the world,” while docents tell the captivating story of faith, sacrifice and triumph that is the Basilica’s history.

  • Bay View Printing Company

    There is proof that print is alive and thriving in Milwaukee! Bay View Printing Company is a 99 year old letterpress print shop that is housed in a converted church building. The walls of the church basement are lined with type cabinets full of wood and lead type that print workers handset every day.

    Visitors to the printing company will enter through the retail space upstairs and be able to meander the community gallery space while waiting for tours of the basement to begin.

  • Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery

    Doors this year are open to the “Old Human Resources Area,” which is becoming a new Gift Shop for the Best Place at Pabst. See how crown moldings were retained and be some of the first to glimpse at the “Old HR Area” as it is transformed into the Best Place Gift Shop. Experience historical details that remain while the area is repurposed.

  • Black Cat Alley

    The Black Cat Alley is a new arts destination for outdoor, large-scale murals in a two-block private alley way. Located between Kenilworth Blvd and Ivanhoe, and between the Oriental Theater on Farwell and Colectivo on Prospect, the alley will become an open public art gallery and walkway. As street art is canvasing the world and shifting the art scene, the Black Cat Alley project brings this explosively relevant art movement to the Milwaukee community. The nine jury selected artists – six local professionals, two national artists, and two local art students – will be installing the murals from September 17-18 during the Black Cat Alley Mural Festival.

  • Bray Architects

    Bray Architects’ new home at 829 S. 1st was built in 1919 as an auto garage for Wadham’s Oil Company and was well known in the Walker’s Point neighborhood for its red-roofed pagoda-style filling station, which is an A.C. Eschwieler prototype design. Bray’s design team completely renovated the single-story abandoned manufacturing building into a workplace that fosters inspiration, creativity and collaboration among its employees. The exterior and interior renovation was completed in May 2016. Visitors will get an inside look at this stunning renovation.

  • Brenner Brewing Company

    Brenner Brewing Company moved into this building in June of 2013 and converted its old parking garage into a Brewery and tasting room. The adjacent building houses 22 artist studios and an art gallery. Brenner Brewing will be offering quick walkthroughs of the brewery once an hour starting at 11:45 a.m. The street will be closed down in front of the building for a unique beer garden experience featuring art vendors, food, and live music.

  • Bridging the Gap Golf Learning Center FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    Bridging the Gap Learning Center, Inc. (BTG) was founded in 1992 by Robert A. Byrd, Jr., a former basketball player for Marquette University’s 1977 NCAA Championship Team. With a mission to educate, inspire and equip underserved youth and adults with the necessary tools and resources to develop and maintain successful futures and strong, productive communities in order to achieve success beyond the athletic arena. Visitors will get to see the first of its kind Golf Learning Center, and the full range of educational, developmental and training programs and services offered.

  • Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge

    Originally a Miller Brewing tied house, this small corner commercial building now houses the oldest cocktail lounge in Milwaukee, and one of the best preserved cocktail lounges in the country — Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge. Open since 1938, Bryant’s has received international recognition for its preparation of specialty cocktails, and its preservation of the cocktail lounge atmosphere. Remodeled after a devastating fire in 1971, Bryant’s features gold-plated cash registers and hardware, velvet walls, dim lighting, and a hi-fi system that cost $21,000 in 1971.

  • 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.

  • Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear

    The museum was constructed in 1869 as a single family residence and was updated in 1905 in a German Revival style. The building was purchased by Avrum M. Chudnow in 1966 for use as his law, real estate, and construction offices. Visitors to the Chudnow Museum will see a barbershop, grocery store, ice cream parlor, hardware store, pharmacy, doctor’s office, toy store window, women’s dress store, and even a hidden room–a speakeasy.

  • City of Milwaukee / Waukesha County Materials Recovery Facility FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    The City of Milwaukee’s recycling facility underwent a major retrofit in 2014/15 through an intergovernmental partnership with Waukesha County. It is now a regional single-stream Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) featuring state-of-the-art processing equipment. Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful will show visitors how recycling plays a role in a sustainable future and provide hands-on experience with products made from recycled materials.

  • CityCenter at 735

    When you visit the CityCenter at 735 you will see a blend of years of innovation, starting with the 1912 Daniel Burnham Building that was built for the First National Bank. Inside, visitors are welcomed by the building’s two main lobbies. Tours will be provided in the main hotel areas as well as in banquet and guest rooms that are not being used at the time.

  • Clock Shadow Building

    The Clock Shadow Building at 130 W. Bruce Street is a ground-breaking, sustainable building that opened in 2012. The building has captured local, regional and national attention and awards for its design, sustainable technologies, quadruple bottom line approach, community-focused tenants and Wisconsin’s first urban cheese maker. Visitors may engage in a self-guided tour via building signage that highlights how a former brownfield became a community catalyst for development.

  • 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.

  • Concordia Gardens

    Concordia Gardens is a 1.5 acre plot of formerly vacant land in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood. Currently home to 35 community garden plots, a small production farm, multiple berry patches, and an urban orchard; the Gardens have transformed from a blighted patch to a beautiful community-serving space over the past four years. In Concordia Gardens we ramp up production of nutritious food and find creative ways to distribute the produce to our neighbors.

  • Cream City Clay

    Cream City Clay, Inc. is located in the heart of downtown West Allis on the Corner of 71st and Greenfield Ave. Originally clad in cream city brick, it was primarily used for retail. It is now home to a vibrant community of clay artists who are learning and practicing the art of pottery. Learn more about the history of clay in Milwaukee and how the city came to be known as the Cream City with a tour of Cream City Clay, Inc., a professional pottery school and studio.

  • Cream City Real Estate Co. (formerly St. Francis State Bank)

    The building that now houses Cream City Real Estate Co. was originally designed by renowned architect Peter Brust of the firm Brust & Phillipp, who was the designer of hundreds of residential, commercial and ecclesiastical buildings, as well as the developer of Milwaukee’s building code. The building was constructed in 1923 for St. Francis State Bank, but the bank closed down during the Great Depression. By 1934, the quaint location was used by Beyer Printing and in 1943 it became a Knights of Pythias Lodge. During the 1960s-70s, it was home to a Polish Legion Hall, and was afterwards serving as a meeting place for the Ace Homing Pigeon Club. Following a renovation plan by Wikwood Associates, the building became the home of The Cream City Real Estate Co. The building has been renovated to reflect the building’s first use as a bank of 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.

  • David Barnett Gallery

    The preeminent Italianate architect in Milwaukee, Edward Townsend Mix, designed this wonderful Cream City Brick house for Dr. Henry Harrison Button in 1875. The David Barnett Gallery contains over 6,000 works of art. Learn about the building and the broadest range of for-sale art available in any Wisconsin Gallery. Gallery representatives will be on hand to tell you about the house and the collection.

  • Educators Credit Union

    The Prospect Avenue branch of Educators Credit Union opened in September 2009. The architect, Ken Dahlin — president of Genesis Architecture, constructed the building using as much “green” material as possible. It has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects for excellence in design. The tour will include the rooftop garden, normally not open to the public.

  • Federal Courthouse FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    The Federal Courthouse is an outstanding example of Richardson Romanesque Revival architecture. Visitors will have a choice between two tours. The regular tour (one hour long) starts in the atrium every twenty minutes. It continues with a guided tours of the ceremonial and centennial courtrooms. The short tour (30 minutes) is on a flexible start time and includes atrium highlights and a tour of a recently renovated courtroom. Family passport activities include a scavenger hunt for children.

  • Finney Library Company

    The Finney Arts Incubator is a lovely example of Milwaukee Mid-Century Modern Architecture. It is currently under renovation as a creative business incubator. Built of local stone, glass and aluminum it opened as a library in 1953 on the Corner of Sherman Boulevard and North Avenue in the heart of Milwaukee. It is one of Milwaukee’s few Modern buildings on the National Register. Come and see the progress we are making on our renovation project. Check our Facebook page for a listing of artists work that will be on display for Doors Open Milwaukee.


    Flux Design is a 20,000 square foot fully functional design/build shop located in the heart of the Riverworks area at the Southeast corner of Vienna Ave. & Fratney St. Our building mixes hard work and lots of fun. Our space is an industrial shop with machinery and lots of tools mixed with exciting art and sculpture. Our doors are open to creative minds of ALL ages who want to learn more about what we do and why we do it. We offer brief tours of our space as well as self-guided exploration, art-making, lots of laughs and lots of fun!

  • Foamation Cheesehead Factory

    100 year old utilitarian original brick building. Formerly A.P. Green Refractory Distributer. This building serviced the booming foundry industries in the Midwest. Previously a small breweries office. Currently occupied since July 2016 by the Original Cheesehead Manufacturer Foamation.

    All visitors will be able to visit the retail store and get a “Sneak Peak” of a small sampling of the manufacturing process of the Cheesehead product line. Visitors will be able to ask questions and interact with the Cheesehead makers and then shop in our retail store after. Full guided tours will be yet to come in 2017!

  • Forest Home Cemetery

    Our 1892 Landmark Chapel was designed by Ferry & Clas (Pabst Mansion & the Central Library)in a graceful English Gothic structure of Lake Superior sandstone with an interior of enameled brick, extensive oak millwork, and a pair of glass conservatories on either side of the main worship space. The Historic office building vaults will be open to enter and view large cemetery record books of 1850′s including the signatures of Milwaukee’s most famous names and cemetery benefactors.

  • General Mitchell International Airport / Mitchell Gallery of Flight

    Named in honor of Milwaukee-native General William “Billy” Mitchell, the namesake of Milwaukee’s airport, the Mitchell Gallery of Flight is a 1,400 square foot museum opened in March, 1988 and located on the north concession level of General Mitchell International Airport, near the entrance to the C concourse. Visitors will not only be able to view the museum, which is open daily to the public, but also the adjacent rooms that contain additional exhibits and artifacts related to Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Lance Sijan and astronaut Capt. James A. Lovell, USN.

  • Global Water Center

    The Global Water Center is a 98,000 square foot, seven-story refurbishment of a century-old brick and timber warehouse into a first-class office and research space. Visitors can participate in self-guided tours of the first-floor exhibit space, and see various lab spaces. As one of the driving forces behind the revitalization of Walker’s Point, see breath-taking vistas of the Hoan Bridge and Milwaukee’s downtown.

  • Glorious Malone’s Fine Sausage

    The Malone building was built in 1990 and houses a 12000 square foot USDA inspected manufacture; producing 300,000 pounds of Gourmet Pork Delicacies yearly. Building was owned by Glorious Malone, Founder and is presently owned by her Daughter, Daphne Jones. We will share the history of Malone’s and it’s popular deliciousness.

  • Golda Meir Library

    Three major special collections programs located in the UW-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library will showcase rare and fascinating treasures. The internationally-renowned American Geographical Society Library, established in the early 1850s to promote the collection and diffusion of cartographic  information, is one of the premier collections of its kind in North American, containing over 1.3 million items […]

  • Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

    The founding church of the Wisconsin Synod, Grace began in 1849. The original structure was replaced by the existing building in 1901, designed by architect Armin Koch. It was crafted in orange brick in a more “modern” German Gothic style, with a nearly complete terra cotta front porch and terra cotta trim around the building. Knowledgeable guides will be available to answer your questions and share fascinating stories about the history of the church, while organists and musicians entertain.

  • Grain Exchange (Mackie Building)

    The three-story Grain Exchange Room (trading room) is the awesome showcase of the interior of the Mackie Building. Flanked by murals, marble columns, and gold leaf, the new trading room when built was replacing what may have been the first trading pit in the world. The vast trading room stretches to roughly 10,000 square feet, with colossal columns dividing the room into three sections. At the center, a skylight surrounded by frescos of wheat sheave medallions and Wisconsin wild flowers caps the room.

  • Great Lakes Distillery

    Located in the Tannery building (Pfister-Vogel) Great Lakes Distillery has been operating in the space since 2008. Founded in 2004 Great Lakes was the first distillery in Wisconsin since prohibition. The main production area was expanded in 2013 to include a tasting space with, retail a bar and out door patio. Walk downstairs to see the production floor that houses our two stills, fermentation tanks and barrels or wander through the bar and retail area.


    Since opening in July of 2008, the Harley-Davidson Museum has become Milwaukee’s number-one attraction, bringing in tourists from around the globe to learn more about this brand’s iconic story. Nestled along the Menomonee River, just south of Downtown Milwaukee, the Museum campus is spread out along 20 acres and three buildings to give visitors a […]

  • Havenwoods Environmental Awareness Center FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    Welcome to Wisconsin’s only urban state forest! The land is the story here. In 140 years it transformed from immigrant farms, to House of Correction, to US Army facility, and to a 237-acre state forest. There are many fun activities for families available including guided hikes and geocaching.

  • Hilton Milwaukee City Center

    Built in 1927, the Hilton Milwaukee Downtown hotel is a classic art deco hotel with rich furnishings and distinctive architecture. Originally called The Schroeder Hotel, today the Hilton Milwaukee Downtown is recognized as the city’s largest hotel with a tradition of excellence spanning nearly 85 years. We will provide tours of hotel main areas and banquet and guest rooms that are not being used at the time.

  • Hotel Metro

    The Hotel Metro got its start in 1937 housing shops and offices in the heart of a thriving downtown retail area. The architectural firm Eschweiler & Eschweiler designed the building in the popular Art Deco style of the time, most apparent in the high ceilings and curved walls. There will be a guided tour each hour that will describe the history of the building and Hotel Metro.

  • Hyatt Regency Milwaukee / Polaris

    Polaris, Milwaukee’s first and only rotating rooftop restaurant, opened its doors in 1980. After a full renovation, the space reopened in October of 2015 as private event space under a new name, VUE. Although VUE no longer rotates, it’s 360 degree views of downtown remain. Take a ‘tour” of Milwaukee as you shoot 21 stories above the city to our rooftop ballroom VUE, formally known as Polaris. Enjoy stunning views of downtown, Lake Michigan, Miller Park, and more.

  • Immanuel Presbyterian Church

    Milwaukee’s first congregation, Immanuel Presbyterian Church marked its 179th anniversary this year. The current church building (1875) was designed by famed Milwaukee architect Edward Townsend Mix in the “High Victorian Gothic” style. A recent addition was dedicated in 2014 to provide new education and meeting space for this growing and thriving congregation. The building’s Wauwatosa limestone exterior features an array of colors and textures trimmed in red and gray sandstone and Scottish granite. The interior of the building includes beautiful woodwork and stained glass windows, four of which are Tiffany.

  • Inspiration Studios

    Originally constructed as a funeral home in 1929, this building became home to Inspiration Studios in 2014, where the Village Playhouse and Erico’s Gallery are housed. Visitors will view the “Sweet Emotions” abstract photography exhibit by Milwaukee artist, Rosie Hartman, who will be on hand to discuss her art. Visitors are welcome to self-tour the gallery, performance stage, back stage areas, and the lower level rehearsal and dressing rooms of the Village Playhouse. Visitors will also explore the 2nd floor studios, featuring Dynamic Youth Syndicate and Christi Craig’s Writing Studio. Guided tours will be provided upon request. Light refreshments will be served.

  • Irish Cultural and Heritage Center/Grand Avenue Congregational Church

    The Irish Cultural and Heritage Center is located in the former Grand Avenue Congregational Church building. The Richardsonian Romanesque building, designed by Edward Townsend Mix, was completed in 1887. Tours will be provided by ICHC guides. Both libraries will be open. A genealogist will be present all day both days. The Kimball pipe organ will be played all day both days.

  • Iron Horse Hotel

    The Iron Horse Hotel is the transformation of a 100-year-old warehouse into a one-of-a-kind Milwaukee hotel that delivers an authentic Milwaukee experience. As the industry’s first upscale hotel geared for business travelers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike, we meet the distinct needs of both corporate and leisure guests with special services, unparalleled amenities and 100 loft-style guest rooms at our luxury Milwaukee hotel.

  • Islamic Society of Milwaukee

    The Islamic Society of Milwaukee is the largest Islamic facility in Wisconsin. See how this former public school was expanded to accommodate our community’s Muslim population. Visit a Muslim prayer hall and learn about the features that are found in every mosque.

  • Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts

    The Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts building was constructed in 1887 as tavern for a German proprietor. In the late 1970s, it was converted into a jazz club called the Jazz Gallery and featured artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and the Marsalis brothers. The Riverwest Artists Association (RAA) purchased the building in 2008 and has restored it as a venue for music, art, and community events. Come by to hear musicians old and young rehearsing and to see original artwork on display.

  • Jewish Home and Care Center

    The Jewish Home and Care Center moved to this, its third location, in 1973. It was last renovated in 2007, with resident-centered care in mind. Everything was done with an eye towards making it comfortable and pleasing for the people who live here. A self-guided tour brochure will help visitors find their way from the entrance of the Jewish Home through the first floor and across the Rubenstein Pavilion in Chai Point Senior Living. Works of art on the walls can be viewed up close. Meanwhile, our beautiful view of Lake Michigan is its own work of art, framed by the beauty of our building and its elegant ballrooms and dining room. While the Jewish Home and Care Center and Chai Point were built to insure that Jewish elderly will always have a place to live, we are open and welcoming to people of all faiths. A breathtaking new mural chronicling the 110 years of the Jewish Home in Milwaukee is being permanently displayed beginning this year. It’s the latest addition to the outstanding art on display at the Jewish Home and Care Center and Chai Point Senior Living, where stained glass, sculpture, and other works of art are on display year ’round. A guided tour will take visitors through the first floor to see artwork, as well as various areas where residents normally congregate. Our gift shop and Rubenstein Family Kosher Oasis will be open for the purchase of gifts and brunch. Anyone interested in a personal tour will be able to make individual arrangements.

  • Jewish Museum Milwaukee

    Visitors enter the Edward Durell Stone-designed Helfaer Building, a simple, balanced, cream colored brick building constructed in 1973. The Museum was developed in 2008 after a renovation by Kahler-Slater. The building also houses the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle and Holocaust Education Resource Center. Tours will be available at 12:30 and 3:00. The Museum permanent exhibit will be free for Doors Open participants. Admission is required to view our new changing exhibit, “Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman,” which features contemporary glasswork by a Sheboygan-based artist. At 5:00 PM, JMM will host a talk with director Brad Lichtenstein about his work, including “Precious Lives” on WUWM (free with admission).

  • Johnson Controls Building Efficiency Headquarters

    Johnson Controls is a global technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Since our invention of the first electric room thermostat in 1885, we’ve been committed to delivering innovative products that help the world run smoothly, smartly, simply and safely. It all started here in Wisconsin with Professor Warren Johnson’s innovation, […]

  • Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    Opened in 1926, this facility was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1974. World-renowned for pioneering the way in modern wastewater treatment technology, Jones Island was also one of the first facilities in the world to produce a fertilizer as the by-product of the water reclamation process: Milorganite. Capable of treating more than 300 million gallons a day, the facility is owned and governed by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and operated and maintained by Veolia Water North America.

  • Journey House

    Established in 1969, Journey House is grounded in the philosophy that Education is a Family Journey. We embody this belief through our mission of working with the community utilizing a self-help philosophy in order to increase education, reduce unemployment and crime, strengthen families, and revitalize neighborhoods. The Journey House “Education is a Family Journey” focus provides a significant response to this community challenge by integrating youth and adult leadership and education programming.

  • Journey House Packer Field FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    Located in Mitchell Park behind the Mitchell Park Domes, the Journey House Packers Stadium officially opened in 2013. The synthetic turf football field­­­ was donated to Journey House by the Green Bay Packers. The Packers used the field as part of their practice facility during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The field now serves as the home field for the Journey House Youth Football League and Cheerleading Program. Beyond teaching the foundational skill sets of football and cheeleading, Journey House focuses on character development and education by leading presentations and discussions at every practice for youth and parents.

  • Karl Ratzsch Restaurant

    Karl Ratzsch has been a landmark in the history of Milwaukee and it’s dining scene since 1929, as it has firmly represented the German heritage of the city for over a century. One can view the day in the life of Karl Ratzsch through the many photos taken over the years, and see the wine cellar, dug under the sidewalk, that held the fantastic restaurant wine collection over the years.

  • Kilbourn Avenue Bascule Bridge

    Kilbourn Avenue Bascule Bridge is significant as Milwaukee’s most architecturally prominent bridge. In Milwaukee’s past, economy and utility had been paramount in bridge design until the administration of Mayor David Rose, the first official known to make a plea for bridge aesthetics. The Kilbourn Avenue Bascule Bridge was constructed in 1929 to serve as a visual link in the newly adopted Civic Center plan, bridging the way between the Old World character of City Hall and the new Classical Revival Courthouse. See how a bridge works from the bridge operator’s perspective. There will be 2-3 openings per hour during the event.

  • Kilbourntown House

    Kilbourntown house, aka the Benjamin Church House, was built in 1844 by carpenter Benjamin Church. Originally located on the downtown’s westside of the Milwaukee River, Kilbourntown, it is an excellent example of small-scale Greek Revival architecture. A docent will share the home’s history. Before you leave to enjoy the nearby Estabrook beer garden.

  • Knickerbocker on the Lake

    Construction of The Knickerbocker on the Lake began in 1929 and continued four years until the official grand opening. When opened in 1933, The Knickerbocker provided apartment style accommodations with full kitchens and individual private baths. Visitors will tour the main lobby area and receive a complete history of Knickerbocker on the Lake.

  • La Lune Collection

    La Lune Collection, a company that produces designer rustic furniture sold nationally, is housed in original Cream City brick buildings constructed in the early 1900′s by H. Schmidt & Sons. Visitors to La Lune Collection will be treated to a personal guided tour with company co-founder Mario Costantini of La Lune’s factory grounds, offices, and workshop facilities.

  • Lakefront Brewery

    Built in 1908, this multi-story, cream city brick industrial building does not have a particular architectural style. It does however, feature modest brick pilasters, brickwork corbel tables and a mixture of segmental-arched and regular window openings throughout the structure. The building originally served as a coal powered power plant for The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company. Visitors will be able to see the beautiful light fixtures that hung in the Plankinton Hotel as well as the original Bernie Brewer Chalet and Mug of Beer from County Stadium.

  • Lamers Building and Grove Gallery

    Designated as a “Walker’s Point Building of Architectural Interest”, the building has been home to a shoe store, an appliance retailer and repair shop, a Yugoslavian publisher, an artificial limb retailer, and several times a gallery. The Lamers Building is the home of Grove Gallery. The rotating gallery will be hosting the closing reception of “VIEWSHED”- a new body of printed assemblages by Jessica Meuninck-Ganger. The permanent gallery features the castings and prints of Celine Farrell. Next to the gallery is Team Nerd Press, the letterpress and linocut poster shop of N. Adam Beadel. Finally, visitors will get a chance to experience Celine Farrell’s secret urban garden.

  • Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

    Established in 1969, the architecturally award winning Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is the premier performing arts community gathering space in Southeastern Wisconsin. Tour Uihlein Hall, Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, Todd Wehr Theater, and public reception and meeting spaces. Learn the history of the center and its occupants, and gain insight into how the center provides a wide variety of entertainment and reception offerings in its multiple venues, including backstage tours when possible.

  • Marquette University / St. Joan of Arc Chapel

    St. Joan of Arc Chapel likes to think of itself as being the oldest building in the western hemisphere that is still used for its intended purpose. The exact construction date is not known, but it is believed to have begun in the late 14th or early 15th century and completed over a period of years. The chapel was originally in the little village of Chasse near the city of Lyon in southeastern France. During the time of the French Revolution, it fell into disrepair. By the time it was discovered, shortly after World War I by Jacques Couelle, a brilliant young French architect, it had become completely dilapidated. Jacques Couelle worked with the French government to restore the chapel to its original state. In 1964, the chapel was donated to Marquette University, and was dismantled stone by stone and shipped to its present location. The chapel was dedicated to Marquette University in 1966 and is open to the public. Twenty-minute tours of the interior will be given throughout the event, and will be available to visitors upon request. Chapel guides will be available to answer any questions for those who wish to experience the chapel on their own.

  • Marquette University Law School / Ray and Kay Eckstein Hall

    Facing the Marquette Interchange, this 2010 exterior’s facade is bold and dramatic. The interior is conducive to a sense of community. 20-30 minute guided tours will explore the library, reading room, trial courtroom and other areas. Guided tours will be offered at 11am, noon, 1pm, and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. Self-guided tours are available any time between 11am and 2:30pm.

  • Marquette University Raynor Memorial Libraries

    Raynor Memorial Libraries will feature selections from Marquette University’s exceptional rare book collection. Comprised of over 12,000 volumes, the collection is especially strong on Catholic theology, Jesuit history, the exploration of North America, and 20th century American and British literature. Some of the earliest printed books in the collection will be included in the display, including selections of incunabula — works from the cradle period of early printing, or prior to 1501. Portions of the Howard Greene Antiphonal Collection, manuscripts from 1562 which were rescued from a monastery in Burgos Las Hulegas (pictured), will also be viewable.

  • Meetinghouse (Milwaukee Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends / Quakers)

    The Meetinghouse of the Milwaukee Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) was built in 1984 along the Milwaukee River on land entrusted to us by Anita Koenen. The original design by Willis and Lilian Leenhouts, modified for affordability by Charles Yoder, was expanded in 2000 by Autumn Blakely. The Meetinghouse, Koenen Land Preserve, and their use reflect Quaker values. We hope you will experience peacefulness in the light-filled space of the worship room. Guided tours are available, including: Compost Kids composting site, community gardens begun by Anita Koenen, the land preserve with its native species, LifeWays Early Childhood Center classrooms, the worship room and library, along with informational displays of current activities and historical interest. The upper land preserve and the building are accessible to all. The lower preserve is a natural setting on the Milwaukee River bluff.

  • Milwaukee Blacksmith

    The current home of Milwaukee Blacksmith, comprised of cinder blocks and roof trusses, suggest it was constructed sometime in the 1950s. It is an industrial space with a loading dock and a few offices. The most interesting thing about our building is what currently happens inside. Milwaukee’s finest homes Come and watch as the blacksmith and his sons use the same historical techniques to create today.

  • Milwaukee City Hall FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    When built in 1895, City Hall was the third-tallest building in the country. Explore our most iconic landmark’s 10-story rotunda throughout the event. The Flemish Renaissance structure consists of a basement and eight stories of city offices. Take a 30-minute, guided tour of the largest Common Council chambers in the U.S. and visit the Mayor’s office.

  • Milwaukee County Courthouse

    The Milwaukee County Courthouse was completed in 1931 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Courthouse is the seat of County government in Milwaukee and houses the offices of the County Executive, County Board, Circuit Courts, and other important services. During the New Deal, Work Progress Administration artist Frances Scott Bradford painted 25 murals in the Courthouse. The fountain and sculpture “Spirit of Polonia” is located in front of the Courthouse. To the east of the Courthouse is India-America Friendship park and the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial.

    Visitors to the Courthouse will receive a brief guided walk through a couple floors of Courthouse and look into a courtroom to see the one of Work Progress Administration artist Frances Scott Bradford’s murals as well as learn a bit about the different services offered by County government in the Courthouse.

  • Milwaukee County Historical Society FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    Located along the Milwaukee river, the center is a museum and research library housed in the former 1913 Beaux Arts Second Ward Savings Bank. Visitors enter into an elegant atrium surrounded by pillars, a balcony-level and marble accents. You are welcome to enjoy our exhibitions, check out the old bank vaults, talk with our staff, and view our collections on display.

  • Milwaukee Fire Department Engine 26

    Engine 26, located at 1140 S. 26th Street, is a two story cream city brick firehouse built in 1903 and was designed by architect Sebastian Brand. The firehouse currently houses Engine Co. 26 and Med 3. Visitors will be able to tour the firehouse, see and learn about the apparatus and equipment the firefighters use, and learn about the daily activities that occur within the firehouse.

  • Milwaukee Fire Dept. Station 1

    Firehouse Engine #1 houses Engine 1 and Truck 1. They are the oldest companies in the Milwaukee Fire Department. Truck 1 was founded in 1837, and Engine 1 in 1839. They’ve been together at the Broadway and Wells Station since 1840. Take a guided tour behind-the-scenes of the oldest firehouse in Milwaukee, talk to firefighters, and see the equipment housed there as well as view historic photos of past crews and fire engines.

  • Milwaukee Fire Dept. Station 21

    The Engine Company No. 21 structure is significant historically because of its association with the development of the Milwaukee Fire Department and the development of the Brewers Hill area. Engine Company No. 21 was organized September 1, 1894, the building having been constructed by the City of Milwaukee. Fire Chief James Foley was not happy […]

  • Milwaukee Fire Dept. Station 3

    NOT OPEN WHEN ON CALL Station 3 was built in 1900. In early days, horse drawn fire engines (steam pumpers) ran out of Station 3. Station 3 has one remaining, original fire pole that is still in use. Station 3 currently houses Tower Ladder 1 (Truck 1) and the Dive Rescue Team (Rescue 3, Dive […]

  • Milwaukee Fire Museum FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    One of five fire stations of this style built in 1927. This station located on 16th and Oklahoma contains fire apparatus dating back to 1927, including the Departments first ambulance, a 1947 Cadillac. This station has been a museum and education center since 1995. The apparatus floor contains the Departments first ambulance, two trucks built in the Milwaukee Fire Department Shop during the 1920’s and 30’s.

  • Milwaukee French Immersion School

    Milwaukee French Immersion School’s beautiful brick schoolhouse was built in 1932 by Milwaukee Public Schools architect Guy E. Wiley. The school, originally Steuben Junior High School, was named for Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a Prussian-born military officer who served in the American Revolution. After Steuben closed at the end of the 2003-2004 school year, Milwaukee French Immersion School moved in immediately, allowing the successful school more room to grow. More than 80 years after the school was built, original art work and details, including decorative tile work, remain.
    Guided tours offered every half hour beginning at 10:00.

  • Milwaukee Gas Light Company (Zimmerman Architectural Studios)

    This building was originally home to West Side Works for the Milwaukee Gas Light Company and provided gas to light homes and street lamps. The building housed retort furnaces to super-heat coal into gas which was stored in gasometers and piped throughout the city overnight. Today, the retort furnaces are gone, and is now home to Zimmerman Architectural Studios and Harwood Engineering Consultants. Along with historical displays, visitors will see design work from the 110 year history of Zimmerman Architectural Studios.

  • Milwaukee Makerspace

    Originally built in 1962, this 16,000 square foot, one-story, brick building served the Bay View community as a Krambo Food Store for over a decade. Today it is home to Milwaukee Makerspace; a collaborative workshop and fabrication lab. Makers, builders, artists, crafters and visitors are welcome to explore our building and its various workshops and labs. Woodworking, welding, metal casting and forging, pottery, electronics, robots, and electric vehicles are just a few of the many activities and interests that will be on display.

  • Milwaukee Public Museum Daniel M. Soref Planetarium FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural and human history museum located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The museum was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884. MPM has three floors of exhibits that encompass life-size dioramas, walk-through villages, world cultures, dinosaurs, a rain forest and a live butterfly garden, as well as the Daniel M. Soref National Geographic Theater and Planetarium. As part of Doors Open 2016, enjoy a free planetarium program in the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Planetarium show will air every half hour while the museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.

  • Milwaukee Theatre

    Welcome to the largest theatre in Wisconsin, with 4,086 very comfortable seats. The outside may be deceiving, but built in 1909, it was a showcase of its time. It was remodeled in 2003 to accommodate a need for an indoor theater with a capacity over 3,500. The Arena is celebrating 65 years in operation. Some recent features: new seats to match our new partner–UWM, new scoreboard with seamless sides, and new flat screen monitors so you won’t miss the action at the concession stands. The Annex, located between the UWM Panther Arena and the Milwaukee Theatre, which will be the starting place for tours of either building. Offered as self-guided tours, there will be displays and recordings taking you back through each buildings’ respective histories, and friendly hosts to answer your questions. Interact with the teams that call the Arena home. Take in the newly renovated Green Room and Production Room, and peek at the new ways the Milwaukee Theatre / UWM Panther Arena change capacity to bring in the shows you love.

  • MobCraft Beer Brewery and Tasting Room

    The MobCraft Beer Brewery and Tasting room is a 1940’s warehouse that has been converted to a brewery, restaurant, and tasting room. You will be able to learn the ins and outs of brewing, and sample some of the wide variety of MobCraft beers. Doors Open Milwaukee guests will get the VIP tour!

  • Modjeska Theatre

    The Modjeska Theatre — named after Helena Modjeska, a renowned Polish actress who specialized in Shakespearean roles — was originally built in the 1920s as a vaudeville and movie palace. We will offer visitors an open-house tour during the event, which will consist of Modjeska history, the theatre’s future plans, and self guided tours of the first floor and second floor if possible.

  • Mount Mary University

    Mount Mary University (then College), is Wisconsin’s first four-year, degree-granting institution for women in Wisconsin. The oldest buildings on campus were designed by Herbst & Kuenzli and constructed by Edward Steigerwald & Sons in 1929. The buildings were constructed with Lannon stone from nearby Hartung quarry (now Hartung Park.)

  • Mount Olive Lutheran Church

    Tudor Gothic church in the Washington Heights neighborhood dedicated in 1923 with attached parsonage and education complex. Restoration in 2013 and 2014 of woodwork and altar furnishings includes new altar, communion rail, and front pew panels in the gothic style. Self-guided tours of the sanctuary will be available at other times during Doors Open Milwaukee. Guides will be on hand to answer questions.

  • MSOE – WMSE Radio – Krueger Hall

    Originally a 1920s automobile tire retailer, this red brick/concrete building is now home to 3,200 watt public radio station WMSE, owned and operated by MSOE. The station has provided Milwaukee with a diverse mix of all music 24 hours a day for 35 years. Tour the WMSE studios, meet some of the volunteer DJs, and be awed by the station’s music library.

  • MSOE Grohmann Museum

    The museum was built in 1924 as a Cadillac dealership and later used (1970s-1990s) as the Milwaukee branch of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. Purchased by Dr. Eckhart Grohmann as a gift to MSOE in 2005, the building was renovated and opened as the Grohmann Museum in 2007. Browse more than 1,000 paintings and sculptures dating from 1580 to the present in three floors of galleries documenting the evolution of work from farming and mining to steel production and glassblowing. Don’t miss the spectacular rooftop sculpture garden.

  • Newsroom Pub

    This once elegant nineteenth-century dining room was restored in 2000 as the Newsroom Pub, the perfect front for the Safe House. Safe House founder David Baldwin refurbished this establishment to provide a home for the Milwaukee Press Club and its collection of famous autographs and memorabilia dating from 1885. The Newsroom Pub is popular for banquets, meetings and receptions up to 200 people.

  • Next Act Theatre

    Next Act converted a crane bay, originally built in 1989, into a state of the art theatre complex, opening it in October 2011. Allyson Nemec and her team at Quorum Architects designed the conversion. Guided tours will be given every half hour. The tour will include the backstage area (costume shop, dressing rooms, green room, rehearsal hall) and all areas of the stage, including the tech booth.

  • NOT OPEN Monarch, LLC

    Monarch is no longer participating in Doors Open 2016.

  • NOT OPEN Sherman Theatre

    Sherman Theatre will not be open for Doors Open 2016.

  • Orlandini Studios FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    The ornamental plaster studio shop was originally built 1876. Matt and Julian Orlandini purchased the property in August of 1964 as a duplex. The original shop was located on 5th and Scott St. Upon purchase, Julian immediately set about the task of gutting the building, jacking it up, putting in a new foundation and building the shop onto the back of the existing building. Orlandini has been open and doing business since August of 1965. Orlandini Studios will be offering a ‘special gift’ for children who visit this PASSPORT SITE with their Doors Open Milwaukee passport.

  • Our Daily Salt / H.C. Anton Building

    A former turn-of-the-century grocery store, the Anton Building is constructed of cream city brick and still contains its original tin ceiling. Although much of the character and charm remain, it has been remodeled to presently house Our Daily Salt — a manufacturer of handcrafted housewares. Our Daily Salt’s beautiful gallery space is filled with work by local artists. See how handcrafted products are made as various craftspeople work within the space. Join us for a brief tour explaining the history of the building and the business.

  • Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

    Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, founded by Norwegian immigrants on Milwaukee’s southside in 1858, built the present building on the site of the Todd Wehr Estate in 1954. Before entering the Wisconsin Avenue doors, look up to the 15′ “The Inviting Christ” statue and notice the solar panels (2.24 kw) that were installed in 2008. Stepping up to the Narthex, gaze into the church where “The Abiding Christ” window and organ music bid you enter. Wander or sit in the sanctuary, where you will recognize Old and New Testament stories in the stained glass windows. The History Room and Chapel are open for visitors. Your guides are eager to share about the mission and ministries of the congregation.

  • Pabst Theater

    Built in 1895, The Pabst is known for its opulence as well as its role in German-American culture in Milwaukee. It is sometimes called the “Grande Olde Lady,” being the oldest theater in Milwaukee’s theater district. Step inside the fourth oldest continually operated theater in the United States. Explore this great Baroque style theater from lobbies to balconies, as you take a self-guided tour with stops along the way to examine chandeliers and cherubs. Watch a sample of past performances on the theater screen, and view historic photos while you tour Cudahy’s Irish Pub.

  • Pfister Hotel

    The Pfister Hotel, built in 1893 has been the premier downtown Milwaukee hotel for over a century and continues to celebrate a tradition of gracious service and impeccable style. Guido Pfister, a local tanner owner, wanted to build a “palace for the people” in Milwaukee, especially after the city’s most renowned hotel, The Newhall House, burned down in 1883. From the moment you arrive you will notice the extraordinary architecture and welcoming ambiance marked by a priceless Victorian Art collection, which rivals that of any hotel in the world. Begin your visit in The Rouge where Chef Concierge and hotel historian Peter Mortensen will share a brief history of The Pfister Hotel. Subject to availability, you are invited to explore the mezzanine level of this grand hotel.

  • Pritzlaff Building

    The Pritzlaff Buildings are a complex of 6 large ornate Italianate cream city brick and heavy timber construction buildings erected between 1875 and 1919 by the John Pritzlaff Hardware Company. Pritzlaff was a large hardware distributor located in the building until 1958. It is now being renovated by Sunset Investors into a mixed use space with offices and banquet halls on the first floor, offices on the second floor, and 100 apartments on floors 3-7. Learn about the history of 19th-century wholesalers who grew Milwaukee intto a hub of trade. View some of the huge hardware catalogs that Pritzlaff used for selling and distributing their goods, then tour through unfinished areas of the building, construction and completed areas. Pritzlaff is a work in progress.

  • Railway Exchange Building

    The Railway Exchange Building, located near where East Town meets the Historic Third Ward, was built in 1899-1900. Its very location is a measure of its prominence, the corner of Broadway and Wisconsin Avenue. It has been named the cornerstone of Milwaukee’s East Side Commercial Historic District. Visitors will be asked to take the elevator to the 12th floor and to walk back down the cast iron and marble stairway all the way to the first floor so that they can see the original corridors with original doors, hardware and window systems to the offices on each floor.

  • RedLine Milwaukee

    Housed in the heart of the quickly developing Hay Market District, RedLineMilwaukee is an arts incubator and accelerator. Built in 1916 to house Philips Printing and Lithography, our cream city brick, 22,500 square foot creative haven is now home to artist studios, gallery space, classrooms and a printshop. Original exposed brick, wood floors, support columns and ceiling timbers remain and are evidence of past fires and ghost lore. One block north of the newly developing Bucks arena, this art and cultures gem is Milwaukee’s best kept creative secret.

  • Riverside Theater

    The Riverside, which opened in 1928, was designed by local architects Charles Kirchoff and Thomas Rose, designers of many theaters, including the Palace Theater in New York City. The building that houses the theater is twelve stories tall, and includes office space in the front portion of the building. Tour this graceful Vaudeville style theater steeped in adversity: from opening shortly before the Great Depression, to a 1966 fire that almost destroyed it, and an 80-year battle to keep the Milwaukee River out of its basement. The Riverside Theater will be providing three performances hosted by The Dairyland Theater Organ Society to provide an atmosphere of what show performance were like when the theater was constructed as well as a limited tour of the Wurlitzer Organ.


    In an alleyway near the river, two gas lights and an inconspicuous nameplate—with the name International Exports Ltd.—is all that mark the brick front of this establishment. However, this spy-themed restaurant and bar has been a favorite Milwaukee attraction since its creation in 1966 by founder David Baldwin. Yes, you need the password. No, we cannot divulge it. But rest assured, as soon as you pass your fun clearance test to prove you’re a friendly operative, you will enter a spy’s nest of global espionage and entertainment!

  • Sage on Prospect

    As part of the Sage brand, Sage on Prospect® is an environmentally sustainable apartment development on Milwaukee’s Eastside. This 34-unit apartment building is currently under construction, with plans for completion in September of 2016. It will be registered with the U.S. Green Building Council with a certification goal of LEED® Platinum. Visitors will experience many of the building’s sustainable features first hand.

  • Saint George Melkite Church

    Constructed with Milwaukee Cream City brick and crowned with three bulbous onion domes, Saint George Church was constructed in 1917 to replace rented locations used for worship by Wisconsin’s Middle-Eastern Christian congregation. Visitors to Saint George may view and ask questions or join any impromptu tour in session. The outstanding new (2010) icon screen, quiet recordings of Byzantine chant and perhaps a hint of incense from the morning service will greet the visitor. Guides may describe the 1892 Columbian Exhibition story that brought Melkites to Milwaukee and the support of Archbishop Messmer who helped nourish a mission.

  • Saint John’s on the Lake

    Saint John’s was founded in 1868, by Episcopal women of Milwaukee. Saint John’s Communities is a non-profit organization overseen by 15 members Board of Directors. Saint John’s is a vibrant, inclusive destination community for older adults designed by award winning architecture and design firms, Perkins-Eastman, Chicago, Illinois and AG Architects of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Enjoy a guided tour of the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) On The Lake, then visit other spaces such as the Bistro and Federalist-style Chapel. Come see our bee colonies and butterfly gardens and raised trug beds. Experience nature in the rain garden, sculpture garden and more.

  • Sanger House Gardens and Caspar Sanger House

    Sanger House Gardens is a feast for the eyes, filled with trees, shrubs, perennials and plants of all kinds, but our specialty is inspiration. Built high on hill overlooking the young city of Milwaukee in 1872, Caspar Sanger’s Cream City brick Italianate house still dominates it’s setting, but now it rises from almost an acre of lush landscaping just blocks from downtown.
    Caspar Sanger, a German immigrant who had made his fortune in the tannery and millwork businesses, built his first grand house in 1872. The property is part of the Historic Brewers Hill historic district. The owners have also renovated the horse and carriage barn along with construction of a new carriage house which is used for events and an AIRBNB stay. Both the first floor, carriage house and gardens will be open for the Doors Open event.

  • Scathain, LLC

    Scathain is a design build firm that makes custom furniture and accents. It operates out of an old printing factory. However, in the 1800’s there was an elaborate bowling alley in its place. Our guests will experience the unique art that we make here in Milwaukee. In a 30 minute tour, see how glass, metal, and wood come together to create high end furniture – all handcrafted by our finishers, blacksmiths, and woodworkers.

  • Schlitz Audubon Nature Center FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    Schlitz Audubon Nature Center (The Dorothy K. Vallier Environmental Learning Center), designed by The Kubala Washatko Architects and built in 2003, is the portal to our 185-acre natural outdoor habitat. Some features of our Gold LEED certified. Take a 15-minute guided tour of the building, or explore on your own anytime of the day.

  • Seneca (Wadham’s) Gas Station

    The public will have access to this site for the first time since 1978! Wadhams Gas Station is a small, well designed, pagoda style, thematic gas station of the 1920s, and a rare reminder of a once prominent regional chain of over 100 pagoda gas stations. Roadside scholars consider Milwaukee architect Alexander Eschweiler’s pagoda design to be an iconic design in gas retailing history. His ingenious design married a typical steel-frame, glass-walled gas station box of the period to a swooping pagoda roofline, creating a building that was functional and efficient, as well as eye-grabbing. The restored Wadhams building is owned and maintained by the city of West Allis. It contains historical displays of petroleum products once sold and equipment used by the previous owners and is a local landmark. We will unlock the old gas station to the public for the first time since it closed years ago.

  • Sherman Park Senior Living (former Jackie Robinson school)

    Sherman Park Senior Living Community is a development located in the center of the Milwaukee Sherman Park Neighborhood. Gorman & Company, Inc. has collaborated with the Sherman Park Neighborhood Association and the Milwaukee Department of City Development to provide 68 units of senior housing. This development will save an historic neighborhood school (Jackie Robinson Middle School) and provide a much needed catalyst for the Sherman Park neighborhood to maintain its forward momentum. An opportunity to see how a closed historic school building was converted into a dynamic living space for neighborhood seniors.

  • Sherman Perk Coffee Shop

    This streamlined, moderne-style filling station has been converted to a locally-owned and operated neighborhood coffee shop listed on the City, State and National Historic Registry. Take a self-guided tour of this wonderful example of an environmentally-friendly reuse of a building and parcel that is a popular community gathering spot within the Sherman Park neighborhood.

  • St. Benedict the Moor Church

    St. Benedict the Moor is the first African-American Catholic Church in Milwaukee established in 1908 by layman Captain Lincoln Valle and his wife Julia. Capuchin Franciscans assumed full-time responsibility for St Ben’s in 1911. In 1970 the few remaining parishioners met to discuss the feasibility of keeping the premises open. Around this time, Mike & Nettie Cullen of the Catholic Worker Movement brought the meal program to the parish, which began in their kitchen. Since, St Ben’s has become a revitalized community parish fueled by enthusiasm in caring for the poor. Visitors can tour the church, enjoying the many statues, carvings and artwork throughout the church, as well as a poster exhibit of past school activities. Parishioners will be on hand to tell our story and answer questions.

  • St. Francis of Assisi Church

    St. Francis of Assisi Church was built in 1876 to serve the German Catholic population of Milwaukee. The Capuchin Franciscan friars continue to serve in the parish, addressing the needs of the poor in central city Milwaukee. The parish is comprised of black, white, and Hispanic [largely Puerto Rican] members. Highlights of the building include the 1893 murals depicting the life of St. Francis, the 1885 Schulke tracker organ [on the historic registry of organs], and the beautiful stained glass windows, original to the building.

  • St. James Episcopal Church

    St. James Episcopal Church, possibly the oldest stone church in Milwaukee, was designed by Gordon William Lloyd of Detroit, and erected in 1867-68 over the Spring Street Burying Ground. The architectural and historical significance of the structure was recognized by its listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, and its designation as a Milwaukee Landmark in 1991.

  • St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

    St. John’s is one of Milwaukee’s finest examples of high Victorian Gothic ecclesiastical architecture. Designed by architect Herman Paul Schnetzky, it was completed in 1890. The East tower, with three bronze bells weighing six tons total, is 197 feet′ tall while the west tower is 127′ feet tall. The church seats 1,100 people. The unique theatre style lighting, featuring 800 individual light fixtures installed in 1909, is seldom seen in churches. Interesting features include an elevated pulpit and an ornate hand-carved altar. Open for public worship on Sunday at 10am.

  • St. Joseph Chapel

    School Sisters of St. Francis offer self-guided tours of their century-old chapel, where music and art are integral to spiritual life. Milwaukee architects, Peter Brust and Richard Philipp, created a perfectly Italian Romanesque Revival marvel. Enjoy 100+ stained glass windows, unique carvings, mosaics, and paintings in a soaring worship space. Take in the elegant beauty of one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful worship spaces. Magnificent to behold and acoustically marvelous, St. Joseph Chapel is a favorite site for prayer and concerts.

  • St. Lucas Evangelical Lutheran Church

    The present Saint Lucas Church was erected in 1888. The 145′ high steeple is a welcoming sight from all directions. The church building received Landmark Designation from the Bay View Historical Society in 1988.
    Come inside to see where the past meets the present in the sanctuary and the lower level gathering space. Archived photos, documents, and artifacts are on display and Saint Lucas members are available to answer your questions.

  • St. Marcus Lutheran Church & School

    St. Marcus Lutheran Church’s sanctuary was designed by Leiser & Holst architects, masonry by Gustave Jeske & Sons. It was completed in 1914. It is designed in the Neo-Gothic style popular in the Midwest from 1900-1930, drawing inspiration from the English interpretations of the Gothic style.

  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

    St. Paul’s building, which is Richardson Romanesque ecclesiastical architecture in design, was dedicated in 1884. With one the largest Tiffany window collections in Wisconsin (including largest window created by Tiffany), a Flemish tapestry from the 16th century, the Schantz organ, and nationally recognized Salviati Mosaics, it is sure to wow both new and returning visitors. Walk through St. Paul’s breathtaking nave and enjoy the many attractions listed above throughout the day. Historic information about St. Paul’s is free. People from St. Paul’s will be available to answer questions. Special tours and organ demonstration will be given at various times.

  • St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church

    St Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church is the mother church on the south side of MKE. Built in 1872 constructed from MKE “Cream City Brick” by Polish immigrants who settled on Jones Island. The church is of baroque architecture. The church has gone through many renovations including the most recent in 2016. 2016 is a special year as the St Stanislaus Parish celebrates its 150 year anniversary! Tours of the church will take place throughout the day. Come and see the unique beauty of a church built of humble means by Polish immigrants.

  • Stone Creek Coffee Factory

    The Stone Creek Factory, built in 1888, was designed by the Chicago Firm, Burnham and Root. The factory housed many businesses, most notably The Crystal Soap Company of Milwaukee, which was in this space for over 25 years. In 1999, Stone Creek Coffee moved in, allowing the factory and retail teams to work together in one space. Visitors will get a glimpse into the coffee world while learning about the roots of this space.

  • Summerfield United Methodist Church

    Summerfield Church is a German Gothic Revival style built in 1904 by the architecture firm of Turnball & Jones of Elgin, Illinois. The sanctuary will be open for viewing, with docents available to answer questions and give historical information about the church. Please be sure to walk to the front of the sanctuary so you can see both the stained-glass skylight and the window that faces Juneau Avenue

  • Survive Alive House FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    The Survive Alive House was built in 1985. It was built to help educate the children of Milwaukee that attends public schools on how to escape a fire in their home. The children will come in and be seated in our classroom and learn and watch videos on how to escape a burning building safely. They will also learn how to make an escape plan of their own house to be prepared. Then they will come to our pretend house and actually participate in the home to get practice and the feeling of how to escape.

  • The Daily Reporter in the Mackie Building

    The Daily Reporter Publishing Company is one of the oldest businesses in Milwaukee, and publishes one of the oldest newspapers in the nation. Our new office is a direct reflection of our company itself—a connection to the past with a bridge to the future. With our newly re-opened office in the historic Mackie building, our floor shares all the history of a one-hundred plus year old building (including original wood floors and amazing building details viewed out our nearly 10 foot original windows,) along with a beautifully new designed build-out that just finished this summer, combining the old with the new. It’s a modern office in a unique, historic setting.

  • The Factory

    This beautiful, old factory building was built in 1894 as National Straw Works Company, which main product was producing straw hats. The building has three-phase grounded B electricity, which was invented in WWII and usually seen only in the rust belt. This solid, old building full of wood floors and thick beams now houses a bevy of skilled craftsmen and women: from artists to woodworkers, musicians to upholsterers and printers.

  • The North End

    A neighborhood by design. The North End is built on the remediated Pfister & Vogel Tannery site, its location landmarked by the historic Water Tower on Water & Pleasant. Offering a variety of luxury apartment homes, residents enjoy luxury inside and out. Apartments are all condo-level with the highest level finishes and energy efficiencies. Step out of an apartment home and enjoy the amazing game room, courtyard terrace with outdoor kitchen, clubroom with theater screening and fitness studio. Don’t forget to visit Denim Park, where the North End offers a live music series Wednesday evenings in the summer months. Visitors on Doors Open Milwaukee weekend will enjoy the life of a North End resident, starting with a tour of furnished homes as well as all the amenity spaces. Stick around and enjoy live music in Denim Park!

  • The Safety Academy FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    The Safety Academy, which houses the Milwaukee Police and Fire training academies, was built in 1964 as Madonna High School, an all-girls Catholic school. The Police Academy has traditional classrooms, a full-sized gymnasium, a firing range, and “scenes” in which officers train to patrol Milwaukee’s diverse environments, including the apartment scene, street scene, and tavern scene.

  • Tree of Life Earthworks

    This 1889 carriage house is the site of our ceramic studio/classroom/gallery. We reserve the lower space for our gallery and classroom. The upper space is where we do our own work; sculpting, throwing on the wheel, glazing, under glazing, and firing. We make a special effort to be a positive partner in our local community. While we offer regular classes with fees, we also hold free classes for projects for our neighbors, including several public art projects. We will be offering an opportunity for all interested visitors to be part of a public art project designed to “build walls.”

  • Tripoli Shrine Center

    The Tripoli Shrine Center was constructed in 1925 and completed in 1928 and was patterned after the Taj Mahal. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic sites. Visitors will step back in time to take a look at Milwaukee’s historic treasure.

  • Turner Hall

    Historic Turner Hall has been a Milwaukee landmark since its inauguration in 1883. The headquarters of the Milwaukee Turners, one of the city’s oldest civic organizations, Turner Hall is among the finest remaining examples of a grand building constructed of “cream city brick.” Visit the beautifully restored Turner Restaurant and learn how to decode the symbols hidden within the Turners’ historic panorama paintings, stained glass windows, photographs, and other treasures of Milwaukee’s rich German-American heritage.

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences

    Come celebrate with us! In 2016, UW-Milwaukee scientists and students will have been conducting internationally recognized freshwater research on the shores of Lake Michigan for 50 years. This is your chance to visit the state-of-the-art School of Freshwater Sciences and dive in with tours, displays, demonstrations, an inside look at the R/V Neeskay, and more to see how we earned a reputation for freshwater research.

  • Urban Ecology Center / Menomonee Valley Branch FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    Come check out the Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee Valley branch! Designed by Uihlein-Wilson Architects with input from MIAD and UWM students, the building was a finalist for the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation in 2013. Learn about the history of the building and the area, explore the flexible and fun learning spaces in the building, and even see if you can find the slide!

  • Urban Harvest Brewing Company

    Currently the home of Urban Harvest Brewing Company this cream city brick gem showcases our 2 barrel brewing system and Taproom. UHBC will offer brief presentations at 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00 in the theater space. Presentations are limited to 40 people for each.

  • US Bank Center — Observation Deck FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    Get whisked to the top of the state’s tallest building (601 feet), and enjoy the 360-degree views of our city and beyond from the 41st floor. Opened in 1973, this great steel-framed and clean-lined skyscraper, with its white painted aluminum and bronze glass, has become an iconic building on Milwaukee’s skyline. The deck is normally closed to the public.

  • UWM / EMS – College of Engineering & Applied Science

    UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science building serves 2,000 engineering students, 400 at the graduate level. 3D print your kinetic energy; tour our foundry. A rare site in a US university, it serves as training ground for Materials Engineers developing new and sustainable materials for everything including self-healing metals used in the automotive markets. Visit Wisconsin’s largest structural testing facility where performance testing is made on materials, components and systems for buildings, bridges, factories, machinery, automotive, aerospace, and other structures. There’s more displays and interactive experiences from Engineering and Computer Science researchers in this rare behind the scenes look at one of the areas best-kept secrets.

  • UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    This stellar gem on the UWM campus is celebrating its 50th anniversary! The UWM Planetarium theater can hold 68 people in concentric comfortable seats the better to enjoy the stars during our live programs. These intimate FREE tours of the sky with NASA Astronomy Ambassador, Jean Creighton, will last 25 minutes starting every half hour from 1:30 pm with the last show starting at 4:30 pm. She can share with you the myth of Pegasus. Meet outside the planetarium doors, Physics 139.

  • UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning

    The School of Architecture and Urban Planning building opened in 1994. It provides classroom, office, and studio spaces for faculty and students in Architecture and Urban Planning. Experience an interactive exploration of important planning issues in Milwaukee and the southeast Wisconsin region, including the future of transportation, the location of affordable housing nearby to family supporting jobs, economic and cultural separation and segregation, and neighborhood-based initiatives toward economic, environmental, and social sustainability. Professional planners, faculty, and students will display maps and other information and facilitate conversations with participants to hear their ideas for addressing these and other critical issues about places and spaces in our community.

  • UWM University Services Research Building

    UW-Milwaukee’s USR (University Service and Research Building), 115 East Rindell Way (1st and Capital) served as home for Square D and Reindl Bindery before UW-M’s 2005 purchase. Today, a field of solar panels greets visitors and a 100-foot-high, 10-kilowatt wind turbine erected in 2014, stands tall dotting the sky as a sign of a revolutionary changes taking place through cutting-edge, impactful engineering research at USR — research that engages students as they are brought up to be the next generation of Milwaukee Engineers in fields such as energy to biomechanics. The labs in Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems Center are where researchers are working to make energy sources like natural gas, solar cells and even wind turbines more cost-efficient and ensuring compatibility with the nation’s electrical grid. UWM researchers are paving the way for microgrids to enter a $3 billion market. Visitors will also see where researchers use a variety of high-tech equipment to study body mechanics and worker safety developing new ways of working to ensure worker safety.

  • Vanguard Sculpture Services

    This Art Deco style brick building was constructed in 1937 and renovated in 1955 with the addition of a 2nd floor office. In 2012, the first floor offices were renovated into a 1000 square foot art gallery. Fine art bronze casting and sculpture restoration is the primary business. The gallery emphasis is cast metal sculpture and is featuring The art of Evelyn Patricia Terry. Enter through the art gallery and tour the fabrication and foundry areas.

  • Var Gallery and Studios

    This building was initially constructed in 1890 housing an Aluminum and Brass Foundry. Built from cream city brick, old wooden joists and support beams, this building continues to show off in age despite the renovation into a contemporary gallery. During your visit, you will be guided through the Var gallery studios. Our in house artist studios are not normally open to the public so you have the opportunity to see the space they work in, along with current works in progress.

  • War Memorial Center FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    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 will see the new WMC Mobile Tour brought to life with guides, historians and veterans leading tours every 30 minutes.

  • Washington High School of Information Technology

    Washington High School of Information Technology was named after President George Washington and its official name is Washington High School. The building is English Tudor style with light tan scratch faced brick set on a limestone ashlar foundation. A tour of Washington HS will include historical exhibits in the library showcase and alumni room, our 33 member Hall of Fame including distinguished Purgolders, the original 1914 auditorium including the chandelier in the foyer entrance, the Armin O. Hanson mural above the entrance, the original seats, woodwork, hanging lamps and plaster casts.

  • WasteCap Salvage Warehouse

    The WasteCap Salvage Warehouse is located in the Avenues West neighborhood. The building has primarily been utilized for a combination of office and warehousing throughout the years. Visitors will experience the WasteCap Salvage Warehouse through self-guided brochure walking tour of the warehouse.

  • We Energies Public Service Building

    The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company (now known as We Energies) began construction of the Public Service Building in 1902, as the company replaced horse-drawn trolleys with and electric interurban trains that rolled through it three years later. The 111 year old building played an important role in changing Milwaukee with trains, buses, appliances,
    electricity, natural gas, and steam heat while still serving as a modern headquarters for the utility. Visitors will enjoy self-guided tours with employee volunteers on hand to provide information about the company and the building.

  • Weld Guy

    Originally built in 1944 by Paul Ottmann for his machining business, which still remains today in the lower half; the upper half of the building houses the sculpture shops of Kendall Polster and Rory Burke. Kendall Polster — Weld Guy designs and fabricates steel sculpture and furniture. Come see the shop of two working artists.

  • Wells Building

    Daniel Wells, who was reported to be the wealthiest man in Wisconsin at the time, completed the Wells Building in 1902. Today, the building houses modern office space and serves as the region’s telecommunications hub, boasting the densest concentration of fiber optic infrastructure in Wisconsin. Visitors will be able to view the ongoing lobby renovation project, historic photo slide show on our lobby displays, and a chance to see a few of the old artifacts that have been discovered during our renovation project.

  • Wells Street Vertical Lift Bridge FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    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.

  • West Allis City Hall

    Constructed of reinforced concrete, this three-story, Contemporary-style governmental building is topped with a flat roof. Walls surfaces consists of scored concrete and sections of Minnesota granite and includes both tall-and-narrow windows, as well as larger expanses of glass. The two-story council chambers wing extends from the north side of the
    main building. We will allow visitors onto the roof of City Hall which will provide unique views of Downtown West Allis and the State Fair Grounds. Additionally, visitors will be able to enter the Common Council Chambers and be able to sit in the Mayor’s chair from which he presides over the Common Council. You will also be able to sit in the Common Council members seats where they sit during Public Hearings.

  • West Allis Farmers Market

    Established in approximately 1919, the West Allis Farmers Market has been a source of fine fresh produce for generations of families. Grandparents and parents have brought their children and relatives to shop at one of the largest, if not the oldest, established Farmers Markets in southeastern Wisconsin. One reason that the West Allis Market shines above the rest is that all the farmers at the market have to raise what they sell. If you want only the freshest produce grown in Wisconsin, shop the West Allis Farmers Market. The market is the largest open-air market in the Metropolitan Milwaukee area. Its initial establishment reflects the European practice of shopping daily in such markets that was familiar to many area residents. Visitors are encouraged to shop the market and enjoy what is the longest continuously run Farmers Market in Wisconsin.

  • West Allis Fire Administration Building and Fire Station 1 FAMILY PASSPORT SITE

    The Fire Administration Building was originally, Fire Station 1, which opened on October 4, 1930. It was designed and built by local contractor Martin Jezo. It served as a fire station until 2003 at which point construction of the new Fire Station 1 (located on the lot immediately to the east) was completed. Once the […]

  • West Allis Lodge

    The Masonic Temple, which was completed in 1930, has served West Allis masons for eighty-five years. Furthermore, the building–which continues to serve the Masons today–stands as a testimony to West Allis masonic history, as well as to the oldest fraternal organization in the United States. The structure’s Neoclassical Revival styling remains very well intact, as does the interior of the building. The interior of the building continues to retain its original spacing, as well as the vast majority of its features.

  • 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 30 minutes PowerPoint presentation about Wisconsin’s African American history spannign 1760 to 1980.

  • Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

    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.

  • Woman’s Club of Wisconsin

    The Woman’s Club of Wisconsin, the oldest private club in the city and the oldest woman’s club in America, has an eventful and productive history dating back to 1876. The Club building initiated and financed by its pioneering founders has been a Milwaukee Landmark since it formally opened in 1887. Visitors will be offered a rare, inside experience