Some things just seem like they'll be around forever. Joe Ley Antiques, located in an 1890 schoolhouse at 615 E. Market St., in the Nulu section of Louisville, is one of them. But times are changing, and so is this city retail landmark.
I admit that I've had a love affair with the former Emanuel L. Philipp School, 4310 N. 16th St., since I first stepped inside it six years ago. In fact, I was charmed before I even crossed the threshold, in part by the representations of fauna that adorn the entrance.
Building names can come and go at public schools as neighborhoods change, as district needs change, as programs change. The currently vacant schoolhouse at 5372 N. 37th St. - listed for sale by the City of Milwaukee Department of City Development - had three names during its life span.
Some Milwaukee Public Schools are like palimpsests in cream city brick, as architect after architect, school board after school board tinkered them, leaving tantalizing bits of the past peeking out from behind an endless parade of new contributions. A building that describes this process well is currently home to James E. Groppi High School, 1312 N. 27th St.
Milwaukee has no subway and it's never had one. At least not in the common usage of the word. But, recently, I got to walk the length of a Walker's Point "subway" tunnel.
Now that Ambassador Hotel owner Rick Wiegand has completed the purchase of the former Wisconsin Avenue School, 2708 W. Wisconsin Ave., we checked back in on the progress of Wiegand's plan to convert the 1919 schoolhouse into a suites hotel.
From the outside, on first glance, MPS' Benjamin Franklin School, 2308 W. Nash St., might look like a cookie-cutter place. But look more closely, and go inside, and you'll see that it is a beautiful 1920s-era schoolhouse with some handsome details.
As Milwaukee continues to look for ways to re-purpose moribund schoolhouses, we turn an eye toward the old Madison Street School, 930 W. Madison St., in Walker's Point, which offers an early example of a creative re-use for a shuttered schoolhouse.
I've long been eager to see inside the former McKinley School, 2001 W. Vliet St., which was shuttered and sold by MPS nearly 40 years ago. After a 2013 fire, the private day care and school located there closed. Now, there's a plan to renovate it into apartments and we take you inside.
Take a tour around one of the Milwaukee area's most beautiful old schoolhouses, now home to the West Allis Historical Society.