School of Architecture and Urban Planning               University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee              PH: 414-229-5686             

Milwaukee as Laboratory

The City of Milwaukee has...


Milwaukee is la large urban center, ranking 17th nationally in population. historically known for its progressive government and unusually high level of cultural and recreational activities, Milwaukee has had several nationally recognized downtown development projects including the Grand Avenue Mall, the Schlitz Office Park, and the Pabst Theater district.

Revitalization activity has also occurred in Milwaukee's historic Third Ward, a warehousing district, with renovations of man existing structures.

The city has a rich tradition of decentralized and linear parks designed by Frederick law Olmsted, a number of experimental theaters, dance and visual arts groups, major league sports, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and many art galleries. Milwaukee's rich and varied ethnic and cultural heritages are reflected in its well established ethnic communities and an historic diversity of architectural styles in its public and private buildings.

The city has important buildings designed by many of the countries leading contemporary architects, e.g. the Milwaukee Art Museum designed by eero Saarinen, the Milwaukee Art Museum Addition designed by Calatrava, as well as a rich tradition of Classical revival, Richardsonian Romanesque, Victorian Romanesque, Victorian Gothic, Gothic Revival, and Flemish renaissance buildings, and many successful adaptive reuse projects.

Lake Michigan, extensive park lands, established residential communities, and the historical and ethnic composition of the city provide the social and spatial backbone for current architectural practice, revitalization and adaptive reuse which keeps the city alive, vibrant, and eminently livable.




The history of Milwaukee is hidden in the meeting of two rivers and the mouth of Lake Michigan. Beginning with the Indians of the area and ending with Germans.

Beer Town


Growth through the Twentieth Century saw the city exponentially expand in the mid to late 19th century. Known as "Beer" town.

Cream City


Milwaukee Water Tower

The Current City has become a focus of modern Architecture since the new Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum on the Lakefront.
In 1894........


  Preservation Groups  

Future Proposals from the collaboration between UWM and SARUP and local artist and designers include new proposals for the lake front and the historic 3rd ward.




  Frank Lloyd Wright  


Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes and residence in Milwaukee as well as Chicago. One example is the Richards Duplex complex in 1915.

Preservation Guidelines

  City of Milwaukee  


The Cream of the Cream City Awards are presented by the Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission  in an ongoing effort to recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to historic preservation through the rehabilitation of Milwaukee's architecturally significant structures.(2002 awards)

Milwaukee Architecture

  Domestic Trips  

Link to Milwaukee Architecture

Good local links to web pages with photos of historical buildings. Courtesy of MSOE.

Domestic trips

UWM is within a days drive to major cities like Chicago and St. Louis. Many famous architecture sites are also close by including Wright and Sullivan buildings and homes.


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