Welcome to your third and final installment of the Doors Open Milwaukee weekend! After an easy and really enjoyable time volunteering, and an in-depth tour of Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, I took Sunday to explore.
Remember how in my first post, I told you that when I volunteered I got to meet great people, get a sneak peak at the projection room at the Public Museum, and generally have a great morning? Well another perk of volunteering is that you get a special badge that lets you in a separate line for busy locations (see photo above). You just have to pass by all the people waiting in the rain respectfully, and tell them that they can skip ahead next year if they volunteer too!
Anyway, first stop was a Frank Lloyd Wright model home, and it was amazing. The house was under 900 sq. feet, and felt much bigger. We learned all about the lines and light and useable space. I couldn’t take any photos of the home inside, so you’ll just have to check it out yourself to see.
Next, we headed to the Modjeska Theater. I was pretty sure it wasn’t open because it didn’t look like much from outside, but I was wrong. We headed in and gave the nice volunteer our zip codes, and made our way into the theater.
A nice gentleman was telling us all about the renovation efforts, and it was fun to imagine the potential of this community theater. A lot of work still needs to be done, but even with paint peeling and chairs broken, you can feel the rich history and opportunity for something great.
Next came some poor planning, and we went to St. Stanislaus church. We didn’t read the guide to realize that the church wasn’t open until 1pm, so we took a few photos of the outside and kept on our way…
…to The Milwaukee Ballet! We got a great and thorough guided tour and learned all about the building and company. Did you know that the floor pictured above is moveable? The company takes it (or a replica) with them to keep their dancers’ joints safe. I’d love to see what moving and installing a huge floor looks like!
We were granted access to the costume room. The costumes were amazing, people. To see racks and racks (some hanging from the ceiling) of incredible workmanship was really great. They rent both to and from other companies, and some of the costumes have lasted upwards of 20 years. Not THAT’S some quality craftsmanship.
After the ballet, we headed to the US Bank Observation deck. I was surprised that there was no line, so we entered the building and headed right up to the freight elevator. After a minute of being whoosed up to the 41st floor, we headed through some sort of mechanical room to the deck.
I was a little surprised that most of the deck was covered by the huge US Bank signs on the outside of the building, but obviously we still got a great view of the city I call home.
And finally, we found our way to the Best Place at Pabst Brewery. Parking was sort of a mess, but I swear, everyone participating in Doors Open was friendly and happy to be exploring their city so it didn’t matter. I think at one point, my husband actually said “Wow, I’m so inspired to get involved in our city”. Way to go Doors Open/Historic Milwaukee. I’m pretty sure that’s the whole point of the event.
Next year I’ll do some better planning (well any planning..I didn’t plan out a single thing until we got in the car). There were so many sites I wanted to explore, like churches, but didn’t get a chance to. It’s worth noting that some places are open only on Saturday or Sunday of the event. The in-depth tour was great and I wish I could have gone to see the free presentation by John Gurda at St. Josaphat’s Basilica. So I guess what I’m saying is that next year I’ll pack in more. And do it efficiently.
There were a lot of people who went with their kids, and it would be great to take them to some sites. However, I was really happy that I didn’t have my four young kids with me that day. If I’d gone to different sites, I might not feel the same. I met a woman recently who said she took her kids to see a graphic waterfall. Tucked in an alley. And the guy programming the waterfall even put her kids’ names in it. Rad, right?
So my last thanks to Doors Open Milwaukee, I’ll see you next year. And I’ll recruit more volunteers (ahem, I mean YOU) and explore more of the city.
Thanks for joining in on the adventure, everyone!