2021

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VISUAL VIBES ON VILLARD: OUTDOOR MURAL WALL CRAWL
Submitted by Villard Avenue Business Improvement District

Visual Vibes on Villard is the largest public art installment on the north side of Milwaukee, which includes building murals, bus stop art, and soon-to-be installed pedestrian asphalt art. This year's Jane's Walk "Take 5 tour" spotlights our building murals, which offers a variety of themes that were identified as important during our community visioning with our residents, businesses and stakeholders such as Environmental Conservation, Health & Wellness, Neighborhood History, Cultural Pride and Community Pride. "Our Devotion To The Ocean" mural is one of Milwaukee's only interactive murals that features an "ussie" museum, a little free art box filled with coloring books that match our murals for children, and a QR code that sends visitors to our Villard website (www.villardave.com) to learn more about endangered ocean life.

This 0.5-mile route is accessible by foot, bike, wheelchair, and bus, but cyclists should be careful since bike lanes won't be installed until summer 2021.

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A HOME FOR HEROES: MILWAUKEE SOLDIERS HOME
Submitted by Milwaukee Preservation Alliance

Arguably the most significant VA campus in the nation, Milwaukee's Soldiers Home dates to 1867 and was one of the original "Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers" established by President Lincoln as one of his final acts of legislation and located in Milwaukee thanks to the efforts of a group of local woman passionate about veteran care. By 2010, however, the grand Victorian Gothic Old Main had been vacant for 20 years and was threatened with demolition. Thanks to the efforts of the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Zablocki VA, Alexander Company, and many others, it and 5 other buildings on the campus recently reopened to provide housing to veterans at risk of homelessness. This tour provides a quick overview of the beautiful landscaped campus.

 

A full walking tour app is available to download at https://www.savethesoldiershome.com/tour.

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HAVENWOODS NEIGHBORHOOD
Created for Doors Open Milwaukee by Historic Milwaukee, Inc. (2020)

CLARKE SQUARE NEIGHBORHOOD
Created for Doors Open Milwaukee by Historic Milwaukee, Inc., 2020

LINDSAY HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD
Created for Doors Open Milwaukee by Historic Milwaukee, Inc., 2020

Ok, so these next few maps technically have more than 5 stops, but Historic Milwaukee was gracious enough to share the videos they made of three incredible neighborhoods for last year's Doors Open Milwaukee that we couldn't say no.  

We used Google's My Maps to create a simple map of all the points of interest that you'll see in each video.  You could watch the video first, then go explore--or go explore, then watch the video to fill in the blanks.  However you decide to do it, enjoy!

2019

2018

2017

2017 WISCONSIN BIKE SUMMIT: PATTERN LANGUAGE WALKING TOUR 

As part of both a kick off to Jane's Walk Weekend and the Wisconsin Bike Summit, architect and prominent urban Milwaukee advocate Chris Socha led a walking tour that built off a presentation delivered at Turner Hall.  Per the Wisconsin Bike Fed: "We discussed the application of Architect Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language analysis to the urban environment and how it can help people look at and assess their own neighborhoods."

WEST ST. PAUL AVENUT'S INDUSTRIAL PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE 

 

With more than 20 historic industrial buildings on the street, W. St. Paul Ave has a rich collection of historic industrial buildings that have changed little over time.  With new development, the street is quickly changing and this is your chance to explore before it transforms. Michelle Kramer of the Menomonee Valley Partners led a casual stroll and talk about some of the city’s important manufacturers that were located on the street, observed what remains of their complexes, and explored how the street developed and plans to repurpose it for the benefit of the city. 

5 MILES OF ART & JUSTICE TRAIL

This 5-mile (approximately 5-hour) walking tour highlighted historic and contemporary public works of art commemorating key social justice leaders and events, as well as art that heightens our collective social and cultural consciousness.  Beginning at 9th & Vliet and traversing 5 ZIP Codes, Dominic Inouye of ZIP MKE and David Wolfson of the Generosity Project, Inc., linked the near north side (Halyard Park), downtown (Haymarket), Marquette University, the Menomonee River Valley, and the near south side (Clarke Square/Walker Square). Another focus of this walk was participants documenting other sites of social, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual capital.

THE BICYCLE TOUR OF MILWAUKEE BICYCLE HISTORY

Where did C. J. Smith get his inspiration to turn a baby carriage manufacturing technique into a bicycle component process that made him the largest supplier of bike parts in the world? Right here in Milwaukee, just blocks from where the Huseby Company made a bamboo and aluminum bicycle in 1894.  Photography fans -- did you know that Edward Steichen was the first bicycle messenger in the nation?   Michael Horne of Urban Milwaukee led 2017's only bike tour.

OLMSTED'S LAKE PARK 

 

Why is Lake Park such a popular urban destination for people of all ages and backgrounds?  Researcher and freelance journalist Virginia Small explored the southern half of this linear park master plannned in 1892 Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park.  Walkers talked about Olmsted's ideas about parks as vehicles for democracy and personal rejuvenation and how they continue to play out here. They stopped at overlooks to enjoy vistas, including of Lake Michigan, and explored ravines that make this two-level park a great escape into nature.

SOUTH 5TH STREET RENAISSANCE 

Walkers envisioned this old neighborhood in its historical context as an early manufacturing center and traced its decline, its resettlement for decades by recent immigrants and its new arrival as a popular destination. They learned how once-boarded up buildings have been revived and saw the few remnants of its rougher years. 

EXPLORE MILWAUKEE'S PAST WITH BREW CITY SAFARI 

 

Walk leader Christian Matson-Alvirez of Brew City Safari Urban Hiking explored the history of Milwaukee and it's role in sculpting American culture.  From steamboat captains turned beer barons to German immigrants looking for a fresh start in a new land, walkers discovered how Milwaukee grew to fame as a city that prides itself on its culture and diversity.