|The Third Ward is full of character!|
The real way to explore a city is on foot and we received a true treat wandering through Milwaukee's Third Ward on a Milwaukee Food and City Tour. The Third Ward area is certainly an area not to be missed by families and is a wonderful location to begin your foundation of Milwaukee history.
|A peaceful walk along the RiverWalk.|
We met our tour guide, Robert, at the Milwaukee Public Market just footsteps away from the Milwaukee RiverWalk. Since we visited on a quiet October afternoon, we were able to soak in stunning views while leisurely walking along. A few boats ambled by during our walk and we learned that you can actually rent pontoon boats and kayaks to sail along the river. The bridge system is very artfully done and the buildings present some really magnificent architectural finds, so a trip down the river probably presents some unique and breathtaking views! What a fun opportunity for families!
During our pleasant walk along the Milwaukee River, Robert informed us how the RiverWalk came together and pointed out the use of Wisconsin-made and eco-friendly materials in construction.We were surprised to note that even given the historical character of some of the buildings, the revitalization of the Third Ward is relatively recent in the history of Milwaukee. In fact, the gorgeous river itself was not cleaned up until the '90's. What an impressive transformation!
A curious spiral sculpture can be found along the RiverWalk. The Third Ward suffered a devastating fire in 1892--so devastating that fire crews from as far away as Chicago were called in. The fire started on Water Street at Union Oil and Paint Company where the pathway now stands. I love the pathway--the way it spirals up is almost like spiraling up from the destruction of the fire which is what the Third Ward has done. Beautiful!
The Third Ward was once home to Irish immigrants. These immigrants left after losing homes and businesses to the fire. Italian immigrants moved in as the area rebuilt. However, the area eventually deteriorated and the families moved away. Industry and commercial businesses left. The Third Ward area became a place that tourists would not think of visiting. However, a resurgence has brought back the area. Along with the revitalization, the influence of these former residents can still be seen.
|One of the corner brew houses that used to populate the area.|
|A closer image of the insignia that would identify the brewery for the brew house. This one was Pabst.|
|The Milwaukee Public Market from above.|
A truly vibrant community, you will find art alive in the Third Ward. Home to the Art Institute of Wisconsin, sculptures line the area and art galleries provide an outlet for artists and art appreciation. Our favorite art find was a sculpture paying homage to the past of the Third Ward. Masterfully crafted from materials scavenged from the buildings in the ward, you can actually walk through the sculpture to view it inside and out. We had fun trying identify different pieces incorporated in the structure. Entirely intriguing!
|A sculpture that you are actually invited to walk through! Cool!|
|A close up of the sculpture reveals the nuts and bolts that have built the Third Ward.|
The Third Ward is worth exploring even on your own. Catalano Square is an area particularly fun for families in the warmer months with live music. Milwaukee's epic Summerfest also finds its home in the Third Ward. However, I do also recommend taking a tour of the Third Ward with Milwaukee Food and City Tours to get more of the back story on this amazing neighborhood. We had a phenomenal time and appreciate all of the extra history Robert gave us.
In our future posts, we will be discussing more about the makers in Milwaukee and the distinct history of the city. We have some real finds to share!
**Thank you to Robert for a fantastic tour!**