Monday, June 04, 2007

Springtime in Milwaukee

A Milwaukee city park in full bloom

Well, it's been a little over a year since I went up to Wisconsin. I figure it is time to share a few photos of Milwaukee that I took during that trip. What better way to start off than with the beautiful colors of the trees in a city park covered with red and pink blossoms.

The next picture is in the heart of downtown where the Milwaukee River flows through the city and into Lake Michigan. While it isn't the San Antonio Riverwalk, it is very nice in its own way. These boats were docked along side some of the high rises. There is something appealing about a river in the heart of a city.

Dockside on the Milwaukee River

Here is a partial view of one of Milwaukee's landmarks, the Pabst Theater. This building had scaffolding over a large portion of its exterior when I was there, undergoing either renovation or cleaning. The sparkling gold accents stand in contrast to the dark reddish-brown of the stone and brick exterior.

Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

While we are looking at the tops of buildings, take a look at this pair. Built in 1884 and 1879 respectively, these structures still house viable businesses. The one on the right has the word NEWS engraved into the top, along with the year 1879, obviously originally housing a newspaper. Click to enlarge and see the engravings on these.

What were the headlines in 1879 Milwaukee?

Being an old telephone guy, this next building was of interest to me. The facade reflects the changes in the telephone business over the years. This photo has Wisconsin Telephone Company engraved in stone across the top.

Wisconsin Telephone Company Building, Milwaukee, WI

As you look closer to street level, below the Wisconsin Telephone sign, you come across the old Bell System logo cut into marble and still present on the front of the building above the doors. The Bell System has not existed since Judge Green broke up Ma Bell back in 1984, yet this reminder of the past remains.

Then directly below it, the logo of the new AT&T had just been installed. So in a matter of 22 years, this building has gone from housing Wisconsin Telephone (a subsidiary of the old AT&T), to Ameritech (one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies or RBOCs), to SBC Communications (the original Southwestern Bell that bought Ameritech); to the new AT&T (or is it at&t? After buying the old AT&T, SBC took its former parents name).

Your world . . . delivered!

Milwaukee also has a very modern looking art museum on the shore of Lake Michigan. I took this shot one evening during my stay there. It reminds me of a ship docked along the lakeside.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Here is a picture of the main doors to the Hotel Metro, the very nice art deco styled hotel where I stayed during my visit. This is another downtown Milwaukee landmark, and is a very elegant place to spend some time. It is also on the National List of Historic Places.

Hotel Metro, a Milwaukee Art Deco landmark

This very set of doors in also visible in the next photo, diagonally across the street from Ratzsch's German Restaurant. This has to be one of the best places I have ever enjoyed German food.

Entrance to Ratzsch's German Restaurant

To give you an idea of the ambiance of this terrific establishment, here is the view from my table.

Interior of Milwaukee's Ratzsch's German Restaurant

After dinner, I walked around town, and found this impressive structure lit up for the evening. The classic columns make this a very interesting building, but I don't remember what it is. If anyone out there recognizes it, I'd like to know.

The mystery building ? ? ?

Finally, here is a photo of Miller Park, home to the National League Milwaukee Brewers. Play ball!

Miller Park

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