Ten Viewaukee binocular viewers offer a window into Milwaukee's past.
Ten Viewaukee binocular viewers offer a window into Milwaukee's past.

New Viewaukee viewers open a window to old Milwaukee

If you’ve ever wished you could look back in time at old Milwaukee, well now you can thanks to Viewaukee, a partnership of the Milwaukee County Historical Society and CG Schmidt.

Thanks to 10 viewers scattered around town, you can quite literally peer back into the past.

Each set of binocular viewers, mounted on a five-foot post, shows a historic photo of the same site taken decades earlier. The photographs are drawn from the extensive collections of the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

Use of the viewers is free.

The first 10 viewers, which will be installed this year, will be at:

  • Milwaukee War Memorial, 750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
  • Summerfest North End, E. Clybourn St.
  • Milwaukee Public Market Pocket Park, 407 N. Water St.
  • Milwaukee Riverwalk at the Marcus Center, 929 N. Water St.
  • North Point Water Tower, 2288 N. Lake Dr.
  • Miller Valley at the Historic Caves, 4251 W. State St.
  • The Milwaukee River, Wisconsin Avene Bridge & Riverwalk
  • 16th Street Viaduct, 16th and Clybourn Streets
  • Milwaukee City Hall, south of City Hall on Water Street
  • ·Brady Street, 1240 N. Brady St.

The first viewer was installed and unveiled on Friday and the others will be added in coming days.

The viewaukee.com includes additional resources, including locations histories, additional photographs, corresponding curricula for use by parents and educators, and more.

MCHS plans to add more viewers along with themed routes in the future.

Walk the streets of Milwaukee with me.
Walk the streets of Milwaukee with me.

Milwaukee walks: Exploring Brew City neighborhoods

For the past couple years, I've been walking Milwaukee-area neighborhoods with readers via a series of Facebook lives. They're unrehearsed, unplanned beyond picking a place to start, and so, they're casual and hopefully informative and interesting and maybe even fun.

Here is an ongoing collection of the walks, which you can watch any time via the embedded links below. Keep checking back because I'll add more as I do them.

Vliet Street in Washington Heights

Schlitz Park


Harbor District (south and west)

Horlick Malted Milk complex in Racine

5th Street in Walker's Point

East Tosa

Wauwatosa Village

Brewery District

Westown (Part I)


Harbor District (with Lilith Fowler)

East Wisconsin Avenue

Enjoy Jazz in the Park via Facebook Live.
Enjoy Jazz in the Park via Facebook Live.

Jazz in the Park adds virtual events

This is the first summer since 1990 that there's no Jazz in the Park in Cathedral Square Park Downtown, but don't worry music lovers, because Jazz is going virtual with a couple August events.

The events will take place Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. via Facebook Live, which you can find here, and please consider donating to the virtual tip jar.

The August events are:

Aug. 20: Lockjaw Featuring Milwaukee Jazz Dignitaries Manty Ellis, Jamie Breiwick, Luis Diaz and Toty Ramos

Aug. 27: Cigarette Break, which comprises Tim Ricketts (founder and bassist) Olen Franklin (music director and drummer) Darrien Williams (lead guitarist) Eric Lock (keyboardist) and Tobias Cannon (saxophonist).

Jazz in the Park encourage you to share selfies from your own socially distanced Jazz in the Park backyard festival on Facebook @EastTownAssociation, on Instagram @JazzinthePark and on Twitter @EastTown.

This mural by ANWAR + Real Abstract is one of four that have been completed as part of the Bayshore Art Project.
This mural by ANWAR + Real Abstract is one of four that have been completed as part of the Bayshore Art Project.

Bayshore Art Project kicks off with a quartet of new murals

Bayshore has launched a new immersive art experience, called the Bayshore Art Project, that will ultimately result in more than 30 works of art by local artists throughout the town square property.

These works will come in a variety of media, including murals, sculptures, fiber art, illustrations and animations.

The series, collaborated by local artist Emma Daisy, along with Bayshore and Artist Uprising, has begun with four recently completed murals.

"We have such a vibrant local artist community right here in the Milwaukee area and it has been amazing to see that community work together," said Daisy. "Art has a powerful way of bringing people together and as the reimagined Bayshore comes to life, art remains a core staple in the process."

More works will be installed this year, including augmented reality murals and community activation mural opportunities.

You can stay on top of the progress on the Bayshore Art Project, by following Bayshore on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit thebayshorelife.com.

Here are details on the four murals, with information provided by Bayshore:

ANWAR + Real Abstract
North Bayshore Drive, Bayshore

This unique collaboration brings  (pictured at the top) together Anwar Floyd-Pruitt and Dave Watkins, two local fine artists who have never had the opportunity to work together. Using humanity, connectedness, unity and life in a colorful world to guide their inspiration, this collaboration demonstrates the power of art and how it can transform common, everyday space into a place where beauty can come to life.

Shane Walsh
Bayshore Place Breezeway, Bayshore

Walsh is a local fine artist who uses collage as a conceptual framework for understanding the legacy of abstraction. His style is more than just shapes on canvas. Each layer is designed, cross-processed, textured and placed in the collage individually, yet the final product is seamless on canvas. His work at Bayshore reinforces that fine art has an impact in commercial space…