In Travel & Visitors Guide

North Point Lighthouse is one of many Milwaukee landmarks belonging to the National Register of Historic Places. (PHOTO:

In Travel & Visitors Guide

The Mitchel Park Horticultural Conservatory is on land that once belonged to Solomon Juneau's father-in-law. (PHOTO:

In Travel & Visitors Guide

The Tripoli Shrine Center was designed as a replica of the Taj Mahal. (PHOTO:

In Travel & Visitors Guide

The dome of the Basilica of St. Josaphat. (PHOTO:

In Travel & Visitors Guide

When Milwaukee's City Hall was completed in 1895, it was the tallest habitable building in the country at the time. (PHOTO:

Milwaukee historic landmarks guide

Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Jan. 15, 2013 at 9:03 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.

Milwaukee is alive with history, and its many landmarks are woven seamlessly into the urban fabric. A great way to learn about the past is by exploring these places right under our noses where our forebears lived, worked and played. Many historic buildings have been re-purposed and now house office space or are private homes.

Here are just a few places within the city limits where the past meets the present. Add your favorites at the bottom using the Talkback feature.

The Basilica of St. Josaphat
2333 S. 6th St., (414) 645-5623
Constructed at the beginning of the 19th century, this bastion of Polish Catholicism in Milwaukee was declared a minor basilica in 1929. Designed in the style of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, it was built using 200,000 tons of salvage material from the destroyed Federal Building in Chicago. Weekly tours are given after the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass, and group tours are available upon request. There is also a Lil' Friar Gift Shop located across the street offering religious gifts and Basilica memorabilia. Take a virtual trip to the dome here.

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
812 N. Jackson St., (414) 276-9814
Built of Milwaukee brick in the German Zopfstil architectural style, the cathedral has been the seat of the Milwaukee Archdiocese for over 150 years, since the laying of the cornerstone in 1847. Self-guided tours are available every day. Guide books are offered in return for a small donation. Group tours can be scheduled.

Central Library
814 W. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 286-TOUR
Milwaukee architects Ferry & Clas beat out 74 other applicants (including Frank Lloyd Wright) for the chance to design a permanent home for the Milwaukee Public Library in 1898. This U-shaped limestone building styled in the Neo-Renaissance tradition is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Weekly tours are conducted free of charge at 1:30 p.m. every Saturday, beginning in the rotunda. Tours at other times are available by special request.

City Hall
200 E. Wells St.
When Milwaukee's new city hall was completed in 1895, it was the tallest habitable building in the country at 353 feet. It was designed by Henry C. Koch in the style of the German Renaissance Revival. The building is open between 8 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Visit the website for advice on self-guided tours and more.

Federal Building and Courthouse
517 E. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 297-3035
A stunning example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, this building was constructed in 1892. The building is open to the public and tours are available by appointment.

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