Use a new chapter in MKE’s history (The Hop) to delve into its past.
1. BURNS COMMONS
Before you board, check out this 1.5-acre county park. Created in 1847, the park features a statue of Robert Burns, a 1908 replica of the piece displayed in Kilmarnock, Scotland. Burns, celebrated as the Bard of Scotland, is best known for composing “Auld Lang Syne.”
This story is taken from our June 2019 feature:
99 Days of Summer: Here’s Your 2019 Guide to Maximal Milwaukee Summer Fun
2. OGDEN AT ASTOR
Churches are everywhere in Milwaukee. At this stop, you’ll find two of particular interest: The First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee (1342 N. Astor St.) is an example neo-Gothic architecture completed in 1892. A block south is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a Richardsonian Romanesque-style construction with impressive Tiffany windows, including the largest ever created by the studio.
A lot of history took place on this land, the site of Milwaukee’s first courthouse and jail and originally known as Courthouse Square. In 1854, imprisoned fugitive slave Joshua Glover was freed by a mob of 5,000 abolitionists opposed to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The land became a park in 1939, after the courthouse was razed. If you’re here on Saturday morning, visit the farmers market.
4. CITY HALL
From its completion in 1895 until 1899, City Hall (200 E. Wells St.) was among the tallest buildings in the United States at 354 feet and remained Milwaukee’s tallest until 1973. Designed by H.C. Koch, the building houses an 11.5-ton bell named for Milwaukee’s first mayor, Solomon Juneau. On your way back to The Hop, swing by Fire Station 1 (784 N. Broadway). Founded in 1839 and in its current location since 1872, it’s the oldest company in the MFD.
5. WISCONSIN AVENUE
Completed in 1892, the Romanesque revival U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building (517 E. Wisconsin Ave.) was designed by Treasury Department architect Willoughby J. Edbrooke. It originally served as the post office, courthouse and customs house. Lovers of Victorian architecture should stop by to see the building’s five-floor open atrium that is capped with a glass ceiling. Marble, mosaics and detailed ornamentation is everywhere in this gem!
This neighborhood is Milwaukee’s oldest center of commerce and warehousing. If you’re ready for a snack or drink, you’ll find plenty to choose from here at the Public Market and beyond.
You’ve reached the end of the line for the Hop, but that doesn’t mean your exploration has to end. Board the Amtrak Hiawatha to Chicago and continue on!