Ward Memorial Theater was designed by Henry C. Koch and constructed in 1881. It was originally constructed as a two-story multi-purpose building that included a hall, restaurant, and train passenger waiting room. The Hall was also used as a worship space until the construction of a freestanding chapel. In 1897, the building was remodeled for use solely as a theater and hosted many appearances by lecturers, vaudeville troupes, and musicians. Performers appearing elsewhere in Milwaukee often gave free shows at the Theater for veterans’ benefit. As the motion picture industry developed, the theater acquired equipment to show movies.
Today, Ward Memorial Theater has experienced significant roof and water infiltration damage, leaving portions exposed to the elements. In November 2011, on e of the theater’s most notable features, a stained glass window depicting a life sized figure of General Ulysses S. Grant mounted on a a bay horse, was removed from the theater for safekeeping until repairs are complete.
Construction crews are at work to make the necessary repairs to prevent any further damage. The repairs will address issues with roof trusses to prevent a collapse and water infiltration issues. These repairs are expected to be complete within the year.
Content referencing Ward Memorial Hall
MPA Launches Fundraising Campaign To Add I-94, Hank Aaron State Trail Signage for Milwaukee Soldiers Home
National Trust offers $5,000 matching grant for public donations through the end of 2013Dec 18th, 2013 by Milwaukee Preservation Alliance
Today, the grand structure continues to dominate the landscape, but is in dire need of repair.Sep 20th, 2012 by Milwaukee Preservation Alliance