Jeramey Jannene

5 Can’t-Miss ‘Doors Open’ Destinations

12th annual Doors Open Milwaukee features 115 buildings this weekend, but we wouldn't skip these five.

By - Sep 22nd, 2022 05:35 pm
The Model Railroad Club of Milwaukee. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Model Railroad Club of Milwaukee. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Doors Open Milwaukee is back for its 12th year this weekend, so it’s time to make that list and check it twice. The free event throws open the doors to dozens of buildings across the city on both Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

The event website promotes 115 buildings. And while it may be tempting to try to see them all, we suggest you don’t miss these five.

Fiserv Forum

You might be thinking it’s unusual for a stadium to be included, after all, they’re normally open to the public for events. And you’re right. But it’s also unusual for a stadium to be included with Doors Open. In fact, this is the first time the four-year-old arena has been part of the event.

Instead of rushing to your seats to make sure you catch the opening tip, take your time strolling through the impressive facility your tax dollars helped build. The event website says you’ll be able to go down to the court and into the high-roller BMO Club. Make sure to see the oft-overlooked art collection on the suite level.

1111 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.
Saturday only – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Lakefront Brewery Warehouse

You’ve been on the Lakefront Brewery tour, you’ve sung the Laverne & Shirley theme song and you’ve been anointed the bung queen (you’ve hopefully also tried the beer), but have you ever seen the Riverwest warehouse?

Purchased by Lakefront in 2014, the warehouse is located at the opposite end of the neighborhood from the brewery. Special beers in wooden barrels, pallets of beer headed to your local watering hole and space for office workers fill the one-time dairy warehouse.

3519 N. Hubbard St.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

Milwaukee City Hall

Common Council chamber at Milwaukee City Hall. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Common Council chamber at Milwaukee City Hall. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

When it comes to iconic buildings in Milwaukee, none are more so than Milwaukee City Hall. It was, by certain categorizations, the tallest building in the world when it was finished. And though more than a dozen buildings in Milwaukee alone now eclipse it, its slender stature and prized location at N. Water St. and E. Wells St. keep it visible from far around. Step inside and see the eight-story rotunda, but also make sure to head to the south end of the third floor to see the Common Council chambers (normally only open to the public during full council meetings). Can you find the chair where this humble scribe sits for hours on end?

As an added bonus, check out the exhibit on the first floor featuring the late Wisconsin Supreme Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

200 E. Wells St.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Model Railroad Club of Milwaukee

It’s a Doors Open staple by now, but if you’ve never been you must go. The club has operated out of the location since 1936, and the location itself has a connection to the club – it’s a former train station. Built in 1916 underneath the Milwaukee Road mainline into the Everett Street Depot and Menomonee Valley, the station was known as Allis Station for the nearby employer that was the source of many passengers. Much of the train station’s architectural detailing remains, including subway tiles that frame the ticket counter and waiting room, complementing the large model railroad layout that fills the space. Time your arrival with the Amtrak Hiawatha schedule (11 a.m., 1:05 p.m. or 3 p.m.) to watch a train roll overhead as you walk in the door.

215 E. National Ave.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Community Within The Corridor

A Doors Open first-timer, The Community Within The Corridor is a new affordable housing development located along W. Center St. A former Briggs & Stratton factory complex, it’s now the largest privately-developed affordable housing project in Wisconsin history. A partnership of Que El-AminMikal WesleyRayhainio Boynes and Roers Companies led the effort, which was completed this summer. Tour the apartments and common spaces and see how the development team overhauled the buildings.

2758 N. 33rd St.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

An earlier version of this article had the wrong day listed for Fiserv Forum.

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