‘Doors Open’ instills new tradition in Milwaukee

By - Sep 27th, 2011 04:00 am

Milwaukee welcomed a brand new event by giving citizens the opportunity to tour many of the city’s most alluring and historic buildings this past weekend.

Doors Open Milwaukee, presented by Historic Milwaukee, Inc., is the fourth of its kind in North America following similar events New York, Toronto and Denver. Twenty-five free tours were given around the city to curious sightseers, and more locations allowed people to walk in and view the venue for free. Some highlights included the U.S. Bank’s 41st floor observation deck and the locker rooms at the Bradley Center. Overall, roughly 100 locations were open to the public.

One of the nearest and dearest locations to Milwaukee’s heart during the event was Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery. As I walked into the building, the first few distinctive aspects were the ornate woodwork, vaulted ceilings, and 15-foot high windows found in Captain Frederick Pabst’s old office.

The informational tour emphasized Pabst’s rich history which dates back to the mid-19th century when it was known as Best Select, to it’s transformation into Pabst Blue Ribbon to the hipster favorite it is today. It was also the only tour most likely to sell $4 PBR tallboys that patrons could drink during the tour.

Photo by Jennell JenneyAnother Milwaukee staple that participants got a peek into was the Broadway Theatre. Established in 1993, the Broadway Theatre is a relatively new Milwaukee landmark, and it has already proved itself as a powerhouse on the theatre scene. The tour focused on architectural aspects of the relatively new space and the unique technique used to create dimensional illusion. Using a French art technique intending to “fool the eye,” artwork painted on muslin was applied to the walls using the same method used when applying wallpaper. We gained a better understanding of the symbolic artwork, from the illusionary domed top of the structure to the tribute to poetry, tragedy and comedy lining the walls of the Cabot Theatre.

Doors Open Milwaukee attracted many because of the ability to personalize the experience. Whether it’s checking out a landmark church, stepping for the first time onto the Denis Sullivan, or see how Milorganite is produced at the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility, there was something for everybody at Doors Open Milwaukee, promising another tradition for Milwaukeeans to put on their calendars for years to come.

We had plenty of agents out for this event, and we have an impressive slideshow for you from Brian Jacobson, Jennell Jenney, and Carly Rubach. However, we’d like to see your photos as well!  Send us your favorite photos from Doors Open Milwaukee weekend, and we will add them to our Flickr gallery (see slideshow below). Send your photo as an attachment to tcdjacobson@gmail.com . Make sure to include your name for credit along with where the photo was taken.

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