Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

11 Must-See Doors Open Sites

Don't miss these must see sites for Doors Open veterans.

By - Sep 24th, 2019 04:11 pm
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North Milwaukee Arthaus. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

North Milwaukee Arthaus. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Doors Open Milwaukee is back for its ninth year this weekend, and with that its time to make that list and check it twice. The free event throws open the doors to over 150 buildings across the city on both Saturday, September 28th and Sunday, September 29th.

Consider this a guide for veterans. We assume you’ve seen inside City Hall, that you’ve been to the top of the U.S. Bank Center and visited enough churches to make your head spin. Now let’s go deeper. Here are 11 places you shouldn’t miss in your annual two-day binge of Milwaukee’s built environment.

Arts @ Large

Built in 1890 for Patrick Cudahy, this Walker’s Point building was reborn in 2019 as a home for non-profit arts organization Arts @ Large. The three-story building is sprinkled with open workspaces and private offices for the non-profit and other tenants.

1100 S. 5th St.
Open Saturday and Sunday
Details

Central Standard Craft Distillery

This place checks all of the boxes. Not generally open to the public? Check. Part of the highlighted Near West Side neighborhood? Check. Potential free samples of booze? Check. Central Standard’s distillery will give you an up-close look at how the company’s many lines of spirits go from idea to reality.

2330 W. Clybourn St.
Open Saturday and Sunday
Details

Century City I

It’s been a year of good news for Century City, with Good City Brewing, Talgo and Strauss Brands all moving to or expanding in the 80-acre business park. You can see the first new building in the complex, Century City I, that’s now owned by Good City Brewing and get a look at the site next door where Strauss Brands will soon build its new facility.

3945 N. 31st St.
Open Saturday
Details

Custom Cottage Milwaukee

Doors Open is always good for a “you do what in that building?” experience. The completely unexpected business doing high-quality work in an unassuming building. The Custom Cottage will earn that spot this year. The company makes furniture from northern hardwood trees in this Park West warehouse.

3033 N. 30th St.
Open Saturday
Details

Firehouse Station 27

A Doors Open rookie, this East Side firehouse embodies the classic Cream City brick design so many of Milwaukee’s 100+-year-old stations. See inside and ask if they’ll let you come with on a call.

2647 N. Barlett Ave.
Open Saturday
Details

Milwaukee Ballet

It’s brand new. Like opened-this-month-still-has-the-new-car-smell brand new. But despite that, it features a number of subtle touches to make it appear as if its always been in the Historic Third Ward. Be among the first to see inside the new home of the ballet.

123 N. Jackson St.
Open Saturday and Sunday
Details

Mobile Design Box

A two-for-one offering. You’ll get to see the former Tower Theater, or more precisely, what’s left of it after it was converted to office space. You’ll also get to see the traveling exhibit on Matthew Desmond‘s book, Evicted, near some of the houses he lived in while working on the book.

753 N. 27th St.
Open Saturday and Sunday
Details

Model Railroad Club of Milwaukee

Built as a train station in 1916, this bunker-like facility, located underneath the railroad tracks that bisect Walker’s Point, has been home to the Model Railroad Club of Milwaukee since 1936. The Milwaukee Road lives on inside this one-of-a-kind space.

215 E. National Ave.
Open Saturday and Sunday
Details

North Milwaukee Arthaus

Quasimondo Physical Theatre has had another year in the former North Milwaukee Village Hall (built in 1900) and it will be interesting to see how the organization has continued to transform the building. Ask if you can ring the bell, just hope the volunteer fire department doesn’t show up.

5151 N. 35th St.
Open Saturday and Sunday
Details

Schuster Mansion Bed & Breakfast

Another Near West Side must-see. This mansion, built of red sandstone, was converted to a bed and breakfast in 2008. A self-guided tour will be available.

3209 W. Wells St.
Open Saturday and Sunday
Details

Tripoli Shrine Center

You’ve gone by this building many times, but have you ever been inside the Tripoli Shrine Center? This ornate building is effectively a large clubhouse for the Shriners, including a restaurant and a whole lot of social space.

3000 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Open Saturday and Sunday
Details

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