For the first time ever: Milwaukee Health Department to open for public tours

The City of Milwaukee Health Department will participate in the Historic Milwaukee Inc.’s annual Doors Open Milwaukee event for the first time, opening its Southside Health Center 1639 S. 23 Street on  September 19 from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Located on Milwaukee’s south side, the location of Southside Health Center was first developed in the late 1800s for the quarantine of communicable diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis. The building that now houses the majority of the MHD’s public health nurses and hosts weekly clinic services was built in 1912, and was then known as Southview Isolation Hospital.

Today, ward rooms that once housed quarantined patients and porches that provided “open-air treatment” to those with tuberculosis serve new functions, but historic architectural details (and rumors of ghostly visitors) remain.

Doors Open visitors are invited to walk the health center’s floors for a chance to see public health’s past and the MHD’s important work today.

The fifth annual Doors Open Milwaukee event will open the doors to over 150 wonderful buildings free-of-charge to the public –buildings that hold hidden treasures and special stories – from churches to office buildings, theaters to work sites, museums to hotels, clubs to universities; all sites of historic, architectural, cultural, or commercial interest.

Fore more information on Doors Open Milwaukee visit

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