Herman schnetzky

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Urban Spelunking: F. Mayer Boot & Shoe Co., aka "The Fortress"

Published Aug. 31, 2017

"The Fortress," that complex complex of at least six connected buildings - including the one with the Medieval-looking tower - that were once home to the F. Mayer Boot & Shoe Co., is soon to be transformed into apartments. We took a look inside before the changes come.

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Urban Spelunking: St. Martini Lutheran Church & School

Published April 25, 2017

Though the language and country of origin is different, St. Martini Lutheran Church and School continues to serve as a vibrant landmark in the heart of a Milwaukee immigrant community on the city's near South Side.

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Urban spelunking: Brumder Mansion Bed & Breakfast

Published Nov. 17, 2016

There is no shortage of stories to tell about Milwaukee's Brumder Mansion, 3046 W. Wisconsin Ave. These days, the 1910 Arts & Crafts home on 31st and Wisconsin is a bed & breakfast with a theater. But there's a lot of history in the place, too.

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A peek inside an 1890's Milwaukee high school

Published Nov. 6, 2014

When Milwaukee's West Side High School graduated its first class in 1898, it published "Hesper," its yearbook. A copy of the book is preserved at Milwaukee Public Library and it opens a window into one of Milwaukee's earliest high schools.

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New role for the Germania Building

Published Oct. 6, 2014

Schnetzky and Liebert's four-domed classic revival masterpiece at 135 E. Wells St., is getting a new lease on life.

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Urban spelunking: Evangelische Dreieinigkeits Kirche/King Solomon Baptist Church

Published April 24, 2014

The day that I followed the steeples from St. John's Lutheran on Vliet Street to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on North 4th Street, I spied another steeple straight up the block and it was then that I discovered the former Evangelische Dreieinigkeits Kirche at the corner of 4th and Meinecke. What I found there was not only a beautiful church, but some forgotten Milwaukee history.

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Urban spelunking: Layton Boulevard tunnels

Published Feb. 17, 2014

Thanks to Doors Open's Amy Grau - who brought me and architect Keith Stachowiak along for the adventure - I walked through nearly the entire length of that tunnel, proving my grandfather's story correct.

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Urban spelunking: Milwaukee architectural "siblings"

Published Nov. 11, 2013

I enjoy the process. Seeing the progress. That's why I like looking at artists' studies for paintings. It's why I like hearing unreleased demo versions of songs I enjoy. Lately, I've been been noticing buildings drawn by the same hand that share similar features.

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Urban spelunking: German-English Academy

Published Oct. 28, 2013

The exterior of the German-English Academy, owned now for a second time by MSOE, is a stunner. Two gorgeous cream city brick schoolhouses have been connected to create an architectural and educational landmark at 1020 N. Broadway. We got a chance to go inside recently, and here's what we found.