What to know, including dates, sites, tours
Here’s the first thing you need to know about Doors Open Milwaukee 2022:
Wear comfortable shoes.
You can visit more than 100 buildings and sites of architectural, historical and cultural interest on September 24 and 25 during this annual showcase event. Some are rarely open to the public; others open their backstage to visitors at this event presented by Historic Milwaukee Inc.
Although most Doors Open events are free, there are paid tours. Visit the Doors Open website at historicmilwaukee.org/doors-open for more information on free seats, tour tickets and requirements. The list of sites is searchable by district, opening hours, photography rules and other criteria. A few buildings, like Independence First, require visitors to be masked.
Which buildings are part of Doors Open Milwaukee 2002?
Some of downtown Milwaukee’s iconic attractions are participating this year, including the Fiserv Forum (Sept. 24 only), 1111 N. Phillips Ave.; the Milwaukee Museum of Art, 700 N. Art Museum Drive; and Milwaukee City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
Sites of great cultural and historical interest include the Black American Holocaust Museum (September 25 only), 401 W. North Ave. ; Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University, 1234 W. Tory Hill St.; Milwaukee Public Library Central Library (Sept. 24 only), 814 W. Wisconsin Ave. and Mitchell Street Branch (September 24 only), 906 W. Historic Mitchell St.; and Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 E. Locust St.
Sacred sites participating in Doors Open include the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation (September 24 only), designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 9400 W. Congress St., Wauwatosa; St. Josaphat Basilica, 2333 S. Sixth St.; Forest Home Cemetery Landmark Chapel and Crematorium (Sept. 24 only), 2405 W. Forest Home Ave.; and the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, 4707 S. 13th St.
Green and outdoor venues featured include Alice’s Garden Urban Farm, 2136 N. 21st St.; Lynden Sculpture Garden (September 24 only), 2145 W. Brown Deer Road, River Hills; Schlitz Audubon Nature Center (Sept. 25 only), 1111 E. Brown Deer Road, Bayside; The Collaborative Farm, 5500 W. Silver Spring Drive; Havenwoods State Forest (Sept. 25 only), 6141 N. Hopkins St.; and three Urban Ecology Centers (all September 24 only).
Many unique local spots participate, such as the Alano Foundation/MKE Alano Club, a social and meeting place for recovering alcoholics, 1521 N. Prospect Ave.; Milwaukee Water Works North Point Water Tower (Sept. 24 only), 2288 N. Lake Drive; and the Model Railroad Club of Milwaukee, 215 E. National Ave.
Browse and search the online participant database at historicmilwaukee.org/doors-open/buildings/.
What types of tours are available?
Five city site tours are free but require reservations: Milwaukee City Hall Bell Tower, Green Tech Station (September 24 only), Jones Island (September 24 only), Milwaukee Public Library Central Library Dome (September 24 only), and MPL Central Library Levels (September 24 only). Tour times vary. Of these, only the tour of the Central Library levels is fully wheelchair accessible.
Paid tours will explore more than 20 buildings and sites. A few, like Indigenous Milwaukee and Soldiers Home, are free. Others cost $10. Times, dates and accessibility vary, so check the Doors Open website. Tickets for the general public go on sale at 10 a.m. on September 14. Many tours sell out in advance.
Mobile app tours created by Historic Milwaukee allow people to take self-guided walking tours while listening to local guides and experts. New tours scheduled for September 24 include Clarke Square, Harbor District, Indigenous Milwaukee Walk & Bike and Metcalfe Park. Previously released app tours still available include Beerline Trail, Brady Street, Silver City, and Milwaukee Modernist Architecture. For more details on visiting the app, visit historicmilwaukee.org/tours/mobile-app-tours/.
What’s special for kids during Doors Open Milwaukee 2022?
Artist Francesa Mason designs this year’s activity book for children. Doors Open says it will be available for download starting September 16.
Printed copies of the booklet can also be picked up during the event at Doors Open’s 22 Family Passport locations, including Firehouse Station 21 (Sept. 24 only), 2050 N. Palmer St.; Milwaukee Robotics Academy, 3063 N. Fratney St.; and All Hands Boatworks (Sept. 24 only), 621 S. 12th St.