As we close out 2020, we wanted to share some of our favorite stories from the last decade. We hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as we enjoyed telling them. Click here to see the rest of our picks of must-reads and happy new year, Milwaukee!
A few weeks ago, we introduced you to the great photographic work of the late Ray Szopieray, thanks to Adam Levin, who purchased many of the photographer's slides at an antiques store. Last week, Karl Bandow, who also nabbed some of Szopieray's Kodachrome treasure, shared some great photos of the city as it appeared in the 1960s.
Next, Bandow shared 10 photos of Milwaukee as it appeared in the 1980s, and here he offers up a series of images – some are a little spotty, I know – showing Brew City in the era of The Fonz.
1. Wisconsin Avenue at night
Can you imagine when Wisconsin Avenue looked like Times Square? Me neither.
2. Downtown skyline
The top of The Pabst Building was lopped off, and Milwaukee was about to undergo drastic changes thanks to urban renewal and freeway construction.
3. Milwaukee River
4. Third Ward Italian procession
These Italian religious society processions were the precursors of Festa Italiana and they wound their way through the streets of the Third Ward, which was a residential neighborhood. In this photo, you can see the Holiday House, on the corner of Clybourn and Van Buren.
5. Third Ward Italian procession
Another shot of the procession, with the Wisconsin Gas Light Building in the background. Note that the flame hadn't yet been installed on the roof.
6. St. Stanislaus
St. Stanislaus on Mitchell Street, when it faced a neighborhood instead of a freeway.
7. Mitchell Street
Mitchell Street, Milwaukee's other main street, looking east from South 8th Street.
It's coming back.
9. Union Depot
Located on the site of the We Energies building on Everett Street, the Union Depot had trains rolling in and out of Downtown all the time. See below, too...
10. The Milwaukee Road
Many of the images first appeared on Levin's Old Milwaukee group on Facebook.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.