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 for over 3 decades, volunteers have helped over 40,000 thousand tour goers become more familiar with the unique characteristics of Milwaukee’s richly textured neighborhoods.
Many 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.