Historic Milwaukee trained guides lead hundreds of students on tours annually.

Student Tour Information

This tour shares elements of architecture and a chance to learn about the people who settled along the banks of the Milwaukee River and why the river is so important to our city’s history.

The history of Milwaukee’s three early settlements comes alive as the tour winds its way along the streets of downtown. Starting out in Kilbourntown, the tourgoers enter Juneautown at the Milwaukee River and are able to get a glimpse of the area where George Walker first settled. The early rivalry between the settlers in the towns founded by Solomon Juneau and Byron Kilbourn is told in the story of the Bridge Wars of 1845.

Nineteenth-century facades are observed, and the students are helped to “read” the story of the buildings using names and dates found on the facades. These are all part of the rich ornamentation added by the architects and builders who constructed Milwaukee’s early streetscapes.

The tour includes interiors of several of the buildings along the route. The students will learn about the use of light courts as a way to illuminate buildings before the use of electric lights.

Tour Meeting Location: The tour meets in front of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water Street.

Duration: 1.5 hours

Grades: This tour is adaptable to students in grades 1 through 6 and is geared as a supplement to history classes. For older students, consider one of our regular walking tours.

Reservation Information

Fee: $5.00 per student.

Rules on chaperones and adult pricing: Your group will be required to have 1 chaperone per every 10 to 15 students. Based on the number of students per tour, you are allowed up to 7 chaperones at no cost. All additional adults or chaperones on tour must pay the $10 walking tour fee for adults 18 and up.

Contact: Call the office at (414) 277–7795 or email julia@historicmilwaukee.org to make reservations. Please schedule tour at least 3 weeks in advance.