Quite an alluring headline, right? Let me explain. I'm an inveterate photo snapper, thanks to the iPhone. I see something, anything, interesting in the Milwaukee landscape and I think, "that might be a good story." But I take way more pictures than I can ever write about.
And some of them, I likely never really intended to write about but, instead, hoped to share with anyone interested. So, many of them show up on Twitter and Facebook.
Here are five that I took with some sort of intention, but that have been languishing on my computer's desktop...
1. Car park demolition
Like many of you, I was thrilled to see this Westown eyesore start falling. Alas, it seems like it's being taken down one bolt at a time by a team of one. That's good news for neighbors like Jim's Time Out, which is only inches away, but, geez, let's get this thing down and build something useful and exciting there for the future. The sight of the portals appearing to vomit out the shattered concrete caught my eye while walking past one day.
2. Paris? No, Milwaukee
One of the reasons I love going on rooftops is to get different perspectives on a familiar landscape. This wasn't taken from a roof, but, rather, from the lobby of WUWM-FM in the Bank One Plaza. The seagull is a nice detail, I think. The gorgeous skylight, which conjures 19th century Europe, caps the six-story atrium at the Hilton Garden Inn on Broadway. The 1886 Romanesque Revival gem was designed by Chicago's Solon S. Beman, who also designed the disappeared Pabst Building, as the headquarters for Northwestern Mutual Life.
3. Peck's House, Koch's porch
James Peck's house, 1105 N. Waverly Pl., recently won a city preservation award and it's easy to see why. The 1870 home, designed by Peck's neighbor Edward Townsend Mix, is a gorgeous Italianate home loaded with incredible decoration inside (you should see the prism glass in the entry doors!). About 40 years after it was built Henry Koch & Sons (more sons than Henry, who had died two years previous) added this lovely porch with graceful lines and fluted columns with ionic capitals.
4. More demolition
When I worked doing deliveries Downtown, I often stopped at the Visiting Nurses Association building on Van Buren and Wells Streets. Earlier this year, the hideous, two-story box was razed. Good riddance.
5. The not-Liberace-Museum
Dr. Fisk Holbrook Day had this Victorian Eclectic home constructed on a rise in Wauwatosa around 1870. It was designed by James Douglas, who also drew the Collins House on the East Side. The good doctor was a geologist and all-around interesting fella and that, combined with the architect, the beauty of the house and the fact that Liberace had wanted to buy the house and establish his museum there means I'll likely write more about this in the future.
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.