About a month ago, I posted some random photos of Milwaukee and the response was such that I decided to share a few more with you. This time, I realized as I looked through my previously un-mined selection of photos, there's a bent toward disappeared streets and ghost signs, with a dangerous hobby tossed in for good measure.
So, let's consider this a look at "disappeared" Milwaukee, if that's even possible...
1. Disappeared streets, part 1
Now sitting beneath Columbia St. Mary's Hospital, the Catholic Home and the Lutheran home are the former Hydraulic Avenue and Sheridan Avenue (which ran parallel to the north of Hydraulic and is not shown on this map -- it would be just above the words "State Ind. School"), along with a stretch of Summit Avenue that no longer exists (and had previously been called Third Avenue). South of Hydraulic and parallel to it was a street that had previously been called Reservoir for a while, too, back when there was, well, a reservoir on the site. Hydraulic ran along the northern side of the reservoir.
2. Disappeared streets, part 2
Where the Milwaukee County Transit System complex now sits, there were a few short streets called Tomah, Neenah and Paradise Alley. A bit northeast there was also Jesper. Thanks to what was likely a typo on the 1910 Sanborn map, Vine Street was briefly renamed Wine, making us wish there had been an intersection of Paradise and Wine.
3. Disappeared streets, part 3
The Milwaukee Public Library's Krug Rare Books Room has an incredible bound map of Milwaukee drawn by Increase Lapham in 1836. There, in Kilbourn's neck of the woods (or more appropriately, his tamarack swamp) west of the river, there are some waterfront streets like Point, Basin and Cape that can no longer be strolled. Basin appears to be platted in the river as it slips between the west bank and an island, tracing a channel later apparently filled in.
4. Ghost signs, part 1
Skelly's Restaurant is no longer serving breakfast, luncheon or dinners in its four dining rooms at 622 W. Wisconsin Ave., but thanks to the demolition of the parking lot on 6th and Wells, you can now easily see the sign painted on the back of the building, which touts a century of fine food and home-made pastries at Skelly's.
5. Ghost signs, part 2
I found this old Milwaukee Soap Co. sign on the side of a building in the 30th Street industrial corridor, just south of Lisbon. The research I turned up on the company (all of which dates from the 1960s) doesn't list a location at this site, so perhaps this was just an ad. The lower section is gone, so it's hard to say if there was more, but the company, founded in 1931, claimed to be, in the early '60s, "Milwaukee's original and oldest soap and detergent outlet," with three retail locations. Customers were advised that, "contrary to rumors, (the company had) no connections or affiliations with any other soap stores."
6. Roof sitting
When I came upon this photo from a 1914 report by the City Club titled, "Recreation in Milwaukee," I was shocked -- mostly as a parent, perhaps -- by the sight of a kid sitting on the peak of this (unidentified) schoolhouse roof. Later, I heard talk of roof sitting as a pastime among Milwaukee kids. No wonder the report suggested Milwaukee needed to boost its playground options for city youth. I hope that the kid up there took the tornado slide (at left) to get down and didn't jump (or fall).
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Though the exhibition was a small one, Milwaukee photographer Kevin Miyazaki's "Perimeter" show at the Haggerty Museum was one of the highlights of the local arts scene in 2013. Now, the project is showcased in a hardcover book -- officially launched with an event on Wednesday, Sept. 17 -- and we caught up with Miyazaki to ask him about the inspiration for and the perspiration of creating this unmatched exploration of Lake Michigan and its diverse users.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Decades after the break-up of The Rascals, Felix Cavaliere is still performing. We caught up with him before he arrives in Milwaukee this week for a gig at the Northern Lights Theater.
Published Sept. 15, 2014
There are few events more exciting for me than Doors Open Milwaukee, which takes place this coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, as dozens of locations around town as venues of all kinds swing open their doors to let Milwaukeeans see inside. There are churches, schools, office buildings, historic sites and much more.Here are six you won't want to miss!
Published Sept. 13, 2014
Like you, we love the Klement's Racing Sausages. But, the other day, while gazing down at the figures on a T-shirt celebrating 20 years of sal-seech, I wondered if a few of them couldn't use a bit of a makeover and if the time is ripe for a sixth member of the meat-grinder gang.
Published Sept. 10, 2014
Once upon a time, The Modjeska Theater, 1134 W. Mitchell St., was a neighborhood movie palace, the big daddy of Mitchell Street, the second busiest thoroughfare in Milwaukee after Wisconsin Avenue. Now, after four dormant years, and decades after it ended its run as a movie house, Mitchell Street Development Opportunity Corporation is cleaning it up, with an eye toward re-opening in spring with a mix of movies, concerts and other live performances.
Published Sept. 9, 2014
I love finding bits of Milwaukee history and now more than ever they're easy to find online.
Published Sept. 8, 2014
Madison's non-partisan Forward Institute released a report Monday that looked at education funding across the state of Wisconsin and found that over the past decade increasing poverty, deep education cuts, voucher expansion, the economic recession and growing rates of bilingual and special needs enrollment have led to a system that fuels funding and opportunity gaps among Wisconsin students and communities.
Published Sept. 7, 2014
A few weeks ago, I looked at missed opportunities, ugly spaces and other problem spots east of the river. This time, I go west.
Published Sept. 5, 2014
When school opened for the majority of MPS schools this week, most every program had a new 30-hour-a-week parent coordinator paraprofessional on staff to help school staff and families build bridges. At least one school's coordinator has constructed a successful one via social media. It's a model that could be successfully duplicated at other schools.
Published Sept. 3, 2014
The office of the County Executive Chris Abele today released an updated plan -- announced in collaboration with Mayor Tom Barrett -- for the mixed-use Couture high-rise development on the lakefront.