Milwaukee is joining cities across the United States and throughout the world this weekend by participating in Jane’s Walk, an initiative inspired by activist Jane Jacobs that aims to spread citizens’ awareness of their city’s history, current fiscal state and social issues via urban walking (and occasionally biking).
Milwaukee’s Jane’s Walk series kicks off May 4 with an architecture-focused walking tour led by local architect Chris Socha. The series holds walks every day this week and weekend until the final walk on Sunday, May 7, a tour highlighting the history of immigration in the south 5th St./Walker’s Point neighborhoods.
Other notable walks include a comprehensive Milwaukee history tour on Saturday, May 6 by Brew City Safari of night hiking fame (though this walk starts at noon). Also on May 6 is the longest walk of the series: 5 Miles of Art Justice Trail led by ZIP MKE founder Dominic Inouye. This walk follows historic and contemporary public murals, sculptures, and more that memorialize key social justice leaders and events.
Those who just want to have fun biking and drinking beer after will be drawn to the tour of Milwaukee’s surprisingly rich road bicycling history on May 6. Fun fact: Milwaukee was home to the first bicycle messenger in the United States! Non-bicycling history buffs are sure to enjoy a tour of W. St. Paul Avenue’s industrial past, present and future on May 5, featuring a glimpse into Milwaukee’s past as an industrial mecca.