Spaces & Traces 2016:
Historic Water Tower Neighborhood

Saturday, May 14th, 2016     |     9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Non Members: $25
HMI Members: $20
Volunteers: $10

Advance Tickets: Tickets can be purchased before May 14 online*, at any Milwaukee-area Colectivo, and at Winkie’s (629 E. Silver Spring Dr.). Please note that member and volunteer tickets are available only online and at our office.

*If you purchased a ticket online, please bring a printed confirmation, or copy on your phone to any of the tour sites, you will receive a wrist band to tour each site.

Day of Tickets: If you would like to purchase tickets on the day of the event, you can find them at the event headquarters at Church in the City (2648 N. Hackett Ave.) or at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum (2220 N. Terrace Ave.). Villa Terrace will be closed from 10:30-1:30 for a private party.

Map of SitesClick here to download a pdf.

Tour Logistics
All of the sites are available from 9 am to 5 pm on May 14th. Visitors are able to build their own itineraries at this event, which means that you can visit each house at any time and in any order at your convenience. Each house has guided tours throughout the day.

Cyril Colnik Lecture
As part of your Spaces & Traces ticket, you also have the opportunity to hear a lecture by Alan Strekow about legendary craftsman Cyril Colnik. Strekow is a member of the Friends of Villa Terrace who worked on the museum’s Colnik exhibit and wrote the book “Cyril Colnik, Man of Iron.” Lecture times are at 2 pm and 3:30 pm and are located at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

Program Guide
Tour booklets with exact addresses and house histories will be available the day of the event at all sites with interior tours. Tour booklets will also be available at the HMI office (207 E. Michigan St., Suite 406) during business hours starting May 10th.

Historic Water Town Neighborhood 
The Historic Water Tower Neighborhood is bordered by Edgewood Avenue on the north, Downer Avenue on the west, Lafayette Place on the south and Lake Michigan on the east.  This neighborhood is home to the largest concentration of historic homes in Wisconsin, with many listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Take a guided tour of eight private homes and four buildings on Milwaukee’s East Side.  Start at any location and spend a day in this historic neighborhood! Among the highlights are Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum and Renaissance Garden, the chapel inside St. Mary’s Hospital, the former Kenwood Masonic Lodge and the former “pink parlor” of Eastcastle Place, now a private apartment and eight incredible private homes.

Get a sneak peek at the Elizabeth Black home on Terrace as featured in the Sunday May 1 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by clicking here:

Event Highlights:

Private homes on Lake, Hackett, Terrace, Summit and Wahl will reveal how early 20th century classic homes are lived in by today’s families. Homes include the Alexander Eschweiler designed French castle on Lake Drive; the Elizabeth Black home on Terrace designed by Thomas Van Alyea with a residential elevator and a striking Leenhouts & Guthrie Prairie School duplex on Summit and others.

Original leaded glass, light fixtures, and a secret Prohibition-era basement “storage room” are not to be missed. Two homes have the original servant “call buttons” in the kitchen and maid’s quarters. Several properties feature ironwork by Cyril Colnik, a craftsman called the “Tiffany of wrought iron masters.” Colnik made decorative ironwork for the homes and businesses of Milwaukee’s captains of industry at the end of the 19th century and start of the 20th century.

History of Spaces & Traces

In the spring of 1981, Historic Walker’s Point, Inc. hosted its first day-long tour entitled Loft Spaces and Historic Traces, featuring interiors as well as exteriors of several buildings in the downtown area. Since then, the name has evolved into Spaces & Traces and over the past 34 years, volunteers have helped thousands of tour goers become more familiar with the unique characteristics of Milwaukee’s richly textured neighborhoods.

All kinds of spaces have been featured from elegantly tiled lobbies, to condos in former breweries, from modestly scaled working class homes to stately mansions along old streetcar lines. In the last three decades, much has been learned about how many 19th and 20th century former and present churches, schools, factories, taverns, warehouses, firehouses, cemeteries, parks and homes have been renovated, restored, or otherwise retooled for twenty-first century uses. Over the years, tour attendees have been educated about the “historical traces” of areas as varied as the Third Ward, Yankee Hill, Lincoln Avenue, Bay View, Rufus King, Newberry Blvd, Sherman Park, and Story Hill as well as the areas along the rivers in downtown, Brady Street, Riverwest, and Walker’s Point. Areas outside of Milwaukee have featured West Allis and Shorewood.