Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Today’s Mystery photo is from way back in the summer of 1911 – nearly 100 years ago when the Saengerfest was in town. These decorated buildings were downtown and some may be familiar. Where was this week’s mystery picture taken?

Early Expressway Plans

Back in 1949 a study was completed that analyzed the best routes for expressways in the city. Many of the plans went ahead to be completed 15 and 20 years later while some were changed immensely. During the time period from these early plans to the time of final construction many things changed in the city. The post war building boom opened up many new tracts of the city which led to a radical shift in population. The late 1950s brought the death of the North Shore railroad line.

The following sketch shows a plan that incorporated the old North Shore railroad into the new expressway. This design gave the railroad its own right of way that got rid of the bottleneck on South 6th Street where the railroad ran previously. Unfortunately with the North Shore’s demise these plans were dropped.

Crystal Theater

The west side of downtown was the entertainment district in the early part of the 20th century. West Water Street, 2nd street, 3rd Street, and Grand Avenue had numerous variety, vaudeville, and early movie theaters. The Crystal Theater was a small vaudeville house at what is now 726 N. 2nd st. It played musical, comedy and dance acts. Slapstick acrobatics and trick riding were common as well as bawdy musicals. New shows were regularly scheduled with a variety of performers traveling from city to city.


Ad from November 1915.

The theater finally started showing films in August of 1925 with “The Folly of Youth” but lasted only a few years more until it closed, unable to match the larger and more popular movie theaters.

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Today’s mystery is a mystery to me but is someplace downtown. There is not much in the way of clues except for the river behind the building and a bridge adjacent. This could be on the east side of the river or the west but where exactly?

Downtown Postcard View

This is an old postcard view of Sixth and Grand Avenue as it looked in the 1920s. The view looks east and shows two big theaters that once graced the Avenue. On the left is Saxe’s Wisconsin and on the right is the Palace Orpheum. The Saxe Wisconsin was in what was known as the Carpenter Building and had bowling alleys and a popular dance ballroom on the roof.

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

A new year and a new Monday Mystery. This old street view mystery is a picture from late 1957 somewhere downtown. Nino’s Steak Roundup offers charcoal broiled steaks fresh from the grill. Goldfish Uniforms is in the background. The buildings in the background remain although the Nino’s building and the one next to it are gone.

Where is today’s mystery photo located?

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Here is a new Monday Mystery after a big holiday weekend. This week presents another mystery face on a downtown building. Which building does this bearded face reside?

Ziegler Candy

This advertisement from the early 1900’s was for Peerless Milk Chocolates which were made by the Ziegler Candy Company. A little known fact is that Ziegler Candy still exists and sells many of the candy bars that they have always been known for. The Giant Bar was a staple of many a Milwaukeean as they grew up in the 50’s. Stop by their little store at 9617 West Greenfield Ave. in West Allis and take a trip back to the past.

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

I received this photo from Ed a while back and thought I’d post it as a Monday Mystery. The streetcar is obviously the #10 and I’d guess the time as the early 1950s or late 1940s after a big snow storm. This is looking south but that is about all I’ll say for now without making it too obvious. Any guesses for today’s mystery photo?

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Here is another mystery face on a building near downtown. It is very memorable so if anyone has chanced to see it they should know where it is immediately. What is the guess for this week’s mystery?