"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is brought to you by Miller Brewing Company, calling Milwaukee home since 1855. For the entire month of March, we're serving up fun articles on bars, clubs and beverages – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
One perk of my job is that when I go places, folks who know my Urban Spelunking series are not only willing, but even eager, to take me to rarely visited spaces. Like when I was invited up to scale the turret atop a former Schlitz brewery building.
The striking tower sits on the southwest corner of the Schlitz Stock and Malt House, on the corner of King Drive and Galena Street, designed by architect Fred W. Wolf, and erected in 1886.
Initially, there was another matching turret atop the northwest corner of the building, but at some point that part of the structure was demolished and replaced with the current building, put up in 1936.
In 1992, MPS remodeled the building into the Milwaukee Education Center, one of a few middle schools the district built at the time (here’s a link to one that was considered but never built).
At that time, MPS also constructed an auditorium for the school – connected by a skywalk over King Drive – across the street.
The building is currently home to the middle and high school programs at Golda Meir School.
Of course, when I was there, I made sure to snap a lot of photos, so you could see, too:
Luckily I had a guide, who knew the way...
The first set of stairs (this one with a quirkily bent railing at the turn)
The circular staircase steps were made in Milwaukee
Good old solid construction
An oculus window from the inside
The view through a broken plastic pane (I know, I could've focused better but I was on the move)
The view from outside
The view of exterior, from outside
I'd have kept going if they'd have let me
Instead, we headed back down the spiral staircase and back to the office
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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.