South KK Row-houses

I love old photos and the Library of Congress has a great collection of online images that can be searched. There is a series of Milwaukee pictures by veteran Life magazine photographer Carl Mydans taken in April 1936. I have looked at these photos many, many times and most of them show areas of town that have been struck by “urban renewal”. As a result, you have to take for granted that these older areas of the city are forever gone.

Several of the photos have labels and descriptions that I know are not right and don’t make sense from what I know. The following picture is one of those that have bugged me and it has a description of “View from living quarters at 730 West Winnebago Street”. That area of Winnebago Street across from the old Pabst Brewery is long demolished after the Park East Freeway was built in the late 1960s. I have the large size of the picture as my PC desktop background so I see it all of the time and it was a surprise when I was driving back from Bay View on KK a few weeks back that I glanced over and saw houses that looked like those in the photo. It was an “aha” moment and when I got home, I looked at Google Maps and sure enough, these were the houses I was looking for and they, for the most part, still exist but in the wrong location.

Mislabeled historic photos can be found in many places. There is another one on the Library of Congress website that was identified wrong here and is actually around 9th & Clybourn. Gary Rebholz of Milwaukee German Newspapers Index showed me a few pictures on the Milwaukee Public Library digital collection website that had erroneous descriptions. They have since been corrected.

So the moral of the story is don’t believe everything you read about where that old photo is from. Chances are that somebody screwed up. Keep your eyes open – history is all around you!


The row-houses as they look today with a few that have been torn down:

Jefferson & Wells Street 1920s

This is a view looking at the corner now occupied by Taylor’s on the southwest corner of Jefferson & Wells. The picture was taken sometime in the 1920s. Back then the corner was occupied by several businesses; a drug store, roller bearing sales, and a heating company. The single story building has gone through many changes over the years but has stayed around, unlike some of the larger, neighboring buildings such as the Court-house, the Masonic Building, and even the old Layton gallery down the street at Mason.

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Today we are back with the Monday Mysteries after some time spent doing much needed website maintenance.

This mystery photo has some clues as to the location in the picture. I will leave it to you to decipher. The building on which the sculpture is located lies in the area of downtown west of the river. I’ll wait to see if anyone can guess it before giving out more clues.

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Start your week off right by trying to guess which building the gargoyle sits atop. The clues for this little guy is a church right on the edge of downtown. Other clues can be found in the picture if you are a good detective!

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Today’s mystery takes us back downtown to a well known landmark building. “Historic”, you might say. The small cherub is a common theme in the Monday Mystery series and on Milwaukee buildings but this one is a little different than most we have had in the past. Who can be the first to guess where this guy is?

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Today’s mystery figure/face is on a well known east side building (not east side of downtown). This picture depicts a coal miner which had significance for the original owner of the building. Who can be the first to guess the building and where it is located??

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

The stag head shown below sits above the entrance to a popular East Town restaurant. Who will be the first to guess where this mystery face is located?

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Today’s mystery are a pair of faces on a downtown church. The faces have been around for nearly 150 years so they have seen many Milwaukee changes. They have managed to survive a fire in the early days of the church which gutted the building. Who knows the church where these faces live?

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

Happy New Year, fans and friends! The first mystery of the year takes us back to a 19th century building in the east town neighborhood of downtown. At the top of this building is a ring of winged cherubs cavorting. Try to say that five times fast!

Who can guess which well-known building this week’s mystery is on?

Monday Milwaukee Mystery

I know that everyone has been breathlessly awaiting this all day so here it is! It is the post-Christmas Monday Mystery.

This could be easy. It is on a downtown building and portrays justice with her scales. On which building can this be found?