City of Milwaukee Dept. of Public Works
Press Release

Doors Open Milwaukee to feature public works landmarks

Doors Open is a celebration of Milwaukee’s art, architecture, culture and history with more than 170 buildings providing free access on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29.

By - Sep 24th, 2019 11:45 am

With thousands of visitors enjoying Doors Open this weekend, you are invited to explore the numerous locations operated or hosted by the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW). Doors Open is a celebration of Milwaukee’s art, architecture, culture and history with more than 170 buildings providing free access on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29.

Milwaukee City Hall
200 E. Wells St.
Saturday: 10 am–5 pm, Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
When first built in 1895, City Hall was the third-tallest building in the country. Visit the impressive 10-story rotunda and visit the Mayor’s office and tour of the largest Common Council chambers in the United States. Tours of the bell tower require a free ticket that must be booked online in advance at doorsopenmilwaukee.org.

Milwaukee Water Works Kilbourn Reservoir Pumping Station
626 E. North Ave.
Saturday only: 10am – 5 pm
Enter the 1950s-era brick building to find three original Allis-Chalmers 20 million-gallon centrifugal pumps, giant transmission pipes, and the old scale used to weigh chlorine that disinfected water in the Kilbourn Reservoir, which was open to the air until 1979. The station was decommissioned in 2004, the water reservoir removed, and a hill in the park was built in its place. Visitors will find displays of historic photos about the 145-year-old Milwaukee Water Works.

Milwaukee Water Works North Point Tower
2288 N. Lake Dr.
Saturday only: 10am – 5 pm
The 1874 Gothic Revival-style tower was one of the first facilities for the Milwaukee Water Works, which initially pumped lake water for fire suppression and drinking. MWW today provides treated drinking water to 16 communities. Visitors will step into the tower’s base and stand face-to-face with a looming, vertical 120-foot-tall iron pipe that was part of the original steam engine system. The original staircase is not safe and will not be open for public use.

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Education Center
1401 W. Mount Vernon Ave.
Saturday only: 10 am–3 pm, Access to First/Main Floor Only
The recycling building, operated in partnership with the City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County, houses state-of-the-art sorting equipment. While the machinery will not be operating, visitors can see the equipment and recyclables from the observation room while learning about products made from recyclable materials and the role recycling plays in a sustainable future. Ticketed tours of the entire facility are all booked up!

Kilbourn Ave. Bascule Bridge House
101 E. Kilbourn Ave.
Saturday: 10 am–5 pm, Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
The Kilbourn Avenue Bascule Bridge is 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. See how a bridge works from the bridge operator’s perspective. There will be two to three openings per hour during the event.

Wells Street Bridge House
101 E. Wells St.
Saturday: 10 am–5 pm, Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
The City of Milwaukee developed the towerless vertical lift bridge in the 1960s. A verticallift, or table-top bridge, is a movable bridge that utilizes hydraulics to raise the span vertically while remaining parallel with the deck. See how a bridge works from the bridge operator’s perspective. There will be two to three openings per hour during the event.

Hop to Doors Open on the Streetcar
With dozens of locations within a few blocks of the route, The Hop is the perfect way to navigate the city and make the most of your Doors Open adventure. Best of all, thanks to the support of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, all rides are free! To begin planning your Doors Open outing on the streetcar, visit thehopmke.com for the complete route map and schedule.

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