What you will see:

Handicapped Accessible
Fully Accessible

Neighborhood
Downtown

Architect/Builder
NA

Year Built
1837

Architectural Style
NA

About the Building

Take a self-guided tour of the park! 

This park is older than Milwaukee itself. In 1837, Solomon Juneau and Morgan L. Martin donated the land for a courthouse. Named Courthouse Square it held the first courthouse, first jail and second courthouse (1873-1931) in Milwaukee.

As noted in the historical marker in the park, in 1854, Joshua Glover, an escaped enslaved person, was imprisoned by federal marshals in the Courthouse Square jail. Glover was rescued by a mob of 5,000 people and taken secretly back to Racine, from where he traveled by boat to Canada.

In 1877, an 18-foot-tall fountain was installed. When the vacant courthouse was demolished in 1939, the Square needed to be reimagined. The fountain was removed and the land was renamed Cathedral Square for the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (1853). The current fountain was installed in 1960.

Today the park hosts a number of public programs throughout the year including a holiday light display, Bastille Days and Jazz in the Park. Frame the Square is a streetscaping project from 2021-2022 aimed at improving the edges of the park.

Visit the Cathedral Square Friend’s website to learn more about the history and current programming.

Featured photos from the WI Historical Society.