Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the War Memorial 

Doors Open at 5:30
5:30 to 7 pm Games and Hors d’oeuvres
7 pm Dinner and Program with historian John Gurda and honorees

A water-themed evening benefiting Historic Milwaukee

This year, we are proud to honor Veolia and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) for their management of the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility. The Jones Island facility has been in operation since 1926 and was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1974 by the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition for its innovations in providing high-quality wastewater treatment. Jones Island had been one of the top sites visited during Doors Open, attracting thousands of visitors to their state of the art facility.


$85 Members
$100 Non-Members


Lake Michigan and the rivers that feed it have been Milwaukee’s dominant natural resources since the days of the Potawatomi. Join historian John Gurda for a lively illustrated look at the lake and its adjacent watersheds. See how they served the community as transportation routes, recreational resources, and industrial corridors, and how they have weathered a cycle of heavy use and flagrant abuse to emerge as focal points of both celebration and concern in the twenty-first century.


Dinner will be catered by Zilli’s Hospitality Group. Guests will have the option to enjoy boneless short ribs, braised in a special Jack Daniels au jus, or grilled salmon topped with an artichoke barigoule herb vinaigrette, both served with a side of pommes royale and green beans polonaise. Vegetarians will be served multicolor cauliflower steaks seared with basil oil and tomato confit.

Historic Milwaukee’s winter gala benefits our mission to increase awareness of and commitment to Milwaukee’s history, architecture and the preservation of our built environment. Proceeds help make programs like Doors Open and Spaces & Traces possible.

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Past Honorees

Each year Historic Milwaukee honors Milwaukee organizations, businesses, and individuals that exemplify Milwaukee’s spirit, has a strong history in our community, and has made an exemplary contribution to our heritage and built environment at our winter gala, Remarkable Milwaukee. Funds raised at this gala help support Historic Milwaukee’s educational programming including tours, lectures, and programs like Doors Open and Spaces & Traces.

Remarkable Milwaukee 2017

Jim Haertel is the owner of Best Place At The Historic Pabst Brewery. When Jim first set his sights on purchasing a building from the Pabst Brewery headquarters, he was met with considerable challenges when the complex’s seller insisted that if Jim wanted to purchase one building in PabstCity, he would have to purchase the entire campus. This was no easy feat, as the 27 buildings that made up the then abandoned Pabst property span 7 city blocks. But Jim proved no stranger to difficulty, accepting the challenge and beginning his search for investors. Jim’s work on this project was the catalyst that helped save the Pabst Brewery campus as well as all of the history that comes with it. In addition to all the investments he has made at the Best Place, Jim and his wife have recently purchased the Eschweiler school building in Wauwatosa, saving yet another historical gem.

Juli Kaufmann is the president of Fix Development, a real estate company with a unique mission that focuses on sustainability and the revitalization of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. Some projects of note that Juli has worked on include the Innovation and Wellness Commons in Lindsay Heights, the Clock Shadow Building in Walkers Point, and newly completed Historic Walter Schmidt Tavern on Fond Du Lac, home to the newly opened Tandem restaurant. Juli has proved a transformative force in areas of Milwaukee that most developers would avoid for fear of lack of profit. Juli has successfully run several kick starter campaigns to fund her many projects in an attempt to gain resources for plans that help make our city a more socially just place. No stranger to risk, Juli has invested not only in local buildings and businesses, but local people as well.

Remarkable Milwaukee 2016 Honoring Joshua Jeffers and Laughlin Constable 

mitchell-buildingming-liuJoshua Jeffers is the President of J. Jeffers & Co., a real estate development and investment firm that is dedicated to economic development and revitalization in southeastern Wisconsin. The firm utilizes a combination of private equity, tax credits and other soft sources of financing to make complex redevelopment projects financially feasible. The firm achieves its mission through efforts to increase property values, create jobs, and preserve historic structures that contribute to the evolving urban environment.

Laughlin Constable is a full-service advertising agency headquartered in Milwaukee. As the primary tenant of the Mitchell Building, Laughlin Constable has worked to recover the historical characteristics of the space. Drywall in the lobby area was removed in 2000, which revealed the detailed decorations of the original lobby. Ever since the acquirement of the building by Joshua Jeffers, Laughlin Constable has committed to a long-term lease of the building and has created well over 100 new jobs in their Milwaukee office.

Remarkable Milwaukee 2015 Honoring Patti Keating Kahn and the Forest County Potawatomiposter-front_rm2015

Individual Honoree: Patti Keating Kahn for her commitment to Milwaukee’s historic downtown buildings including the Railway Exchange Building and the Colby-Abbot Building.

Organizational Honoree: the Forest County Potawatomi for their ambitious restoration of the historic Concordia neighborhood on the city’s west side through their Business Development Corporation

Remarkable Milwaukee 2014 Honoring John Gurda and Sunset Investorsrm-photo

John Gurda has written 19 books on Milwaukee’s history including the ambitious Making of Milwaukee book. With Historic Milwaukee, Inc.’s partnership, Gurda published his newest book Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods in in 2014.  The book spotlights nearly 40 Milwaukee neighborhoods, charting the history of each and describing its contemporary character as well.

Sunset Investors has been an incredible steward of the Pritzlaff building. Built between 1875 and 1919, this building housed the largest hardware company in Milwaukee at one time. After the Pritzlaff firm left the building in 1958, it was sold to the Hack family and operated for the next thirty years as Hack’s Furniture store and warehouse. In 2005, the building was purchased by Kendall Bruenig/Sunset Investors. All the work was done with the approval of the Wisconsin Historical Society, as Bruenig utilized the federal tax credit rehabilitation program.

Remarkable Milwaukee 2013 Honoring Conrad Schmitt Studios and the Grueke Family

“As art is one of the noblest pursuits, the artist’s work becomes a representation of his time: his buildings, statues, and paintings are an indication of how a sensitive society thinks, dreams, and communicates.  These products of the human mind and hand are part of our regional and national heritage and they should be preserved for future generations.” – Bernard O. Gruenke, President Emeritus of Conrad Schmitt Studios

Remarkable Milwaukee 2012 Honoring The Pabst Theater Foundation

Remarkable Milwaukee 2010 Honoring Johnson Controls, Inc.

Remarkable Milwaukee 2009 Honoring The Pfister Hotel and The Marcus Corp.

“We were very proud to receive the Remarkable Milwaukee Award in 2009 in recognition of the history and legacy of The Pfister Hotel. We are especially pleased to be in the company of other influential history makers including Northwestern Mutual, the late Joseph Zilber and in 2010, Johnson Controls. Historic Milwaukee does an incredible job of raising awareness in the community about Milwaukee’s history, architecture and the preservation of the environment that has been built in our city. We look forward to welcoming Historic Milwaukee, its guests, and the 2010 Remarkable Milwaukee Honoree, Johnson Controls, Inc. to The Pfister on October 18.” Greg Marcus, president and chief executive officer, The Marcus Corporation.

Remarkable Milwaukee 2008 Honoring The Brewery: A Joseph J. Zilber Historic Redevelopment

“Thank you for the wonderful evening I had when I was honored by Historic Milwaukee, Inc. The planning and execution of this event and the commitment that you and your organization have made to raise the awareness of historic preservation was most impressive.” –Joseph J. Zilber, Founder & Chairman of the Board, Zilber Ltd.

Visit The Brewery‘s Website for more information of this amazing Historic Redevelopment.

Remarkable Milwaukee 2007 Honoring Northwestern Mutual

“We are again honored to be your inaugural recipient this year. I just wanted to thank you again for a wonderful event last Saturday. The location and food was superb! The auction had a wonderful assortment of items. I talked to Margo Hokanson this morning and told her about the evening. I mentioned the wonderful video presentation that was created by Aurum Design about Northwestern Mutual.” – Luann Boie, Senior Production Specialist, Northwestern Mutual