A walking tour becomes a lesson of rich Milwaukee history this weekend w/"Doors Open"

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58)-- Historic Milwaukee’s annual Doors Open Milwaukee program will return in-person this year. The event, which began in 2011, will showcase more than 70 art galleries, museums, municipal buildings, gardens, and more throughout downtown and Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. This year’s “must see” building is the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Bradley Symphony Center. “We are thrilled to finally be able to open our doors fully to the public for our Free Community Day of Music during Historic Milwaukee’s Doors Open event,” said Mark Niehaus, MSO president and executive director. “Our vision has always been to be a home for music in Milwaukee, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to our, and their new home.” The beautifully renovated Grand Theater will be open to the public to tour for free on Sunday, September 26, no ticketed required. In addition to in-person tours, the public will be able to view virtual building content from photos to video to 360 virtual reality tours through October 3. “Historic Milwaukee is thrilled to be able to bring this program back in-person to celebrate 11 years of opening doors to Milwaukee’s architectural landmarks and neighborhood institutions. We also have some really great virtual programming that will allow visitors to interact with sites and neighborhoods at their own pace.” Historic Milwaukee is working to ensure this event is as safe as possible for volunteers, sites, and visitors.

The organization is encouraging volunteers and visitors to be vaccinated. Mask wearing will be required for volunteers and visitors at all indoor Doors Open locations. Free masks will be distributed at Doors Open locations thanks to a partnership with the Milwaukee Health Department. Historic Milwaukee will also launch three new app based tours for visitors and residents to take at their own pace. App tours take place outdoors and are a great way to explore Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. The app based tours include: Silver City neighborhood and West National Ave (available in English and Spanish); Near West Side between Marquette and 27th St; and murals and sites of the past and future along and near North Milwaukee’s Villard Avenue. These apps were developed in partnership with: VIA and Zilber Family Foundation for the Silver City tour, Near West Side Partners, and the Villard Avenue Business Improvement District. During the virtual week of Doors Open, attendees can tune in to a virtual program in partnership with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service (NNS) called “Neighborhood Gems'' on Wednesday, September 29 at 6 pm. The event will feature five minute presentations about seven community place-based projects in the words of community members that know them best. The program, moderated by NNS’s Adam Carr, will explore projects that might catch your eye as you drive or walk by, that also have incredible “behind the scenes” stories.

Throughout Doors Open, the public is invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Fund for Lake Michigan through a water themed scavenger hunt and locate ten sites connected to water throughout the city. The scavenger hunt will take place on Instagram, stay tuned for the hints and get ready to find some hidden gems. A special thank you the National Endowment of the Arts, for recognizing Doors Open with an Art Works Design grant. Doors Open is grateful for the generous support from the following sponsors: National Endowment for the Arts; Greater Milwaukee Foundation; Wells Fargo; Zilber Family Foundation; Fund for Lake Michigan; Johnson Controls; Northwestern Mutual; Veolia; MGIC; Reinhart; WE Energies; Downtown BID; UPAF; Visit Milwaukee; Weathertight Corp; and Zimmerman. We are also grateful for in-kind support from these partners: Access Contemporary Music; Bublr Bikes; Milwaukee Kayak Co; Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service; Milwaukee Health Department; and Coakley Brothers Interiors. Visit here to plan your Doors Open adventures.

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