Since 1981, when Historic Walker’s Point, Inc., held its Loft Spaces and Historic Traces, the annual Spaces & Traces tour has opened the doors of Milwaukee homes and historic spaces to the public.
The 32nd installment of the event features Shorewood, with looks into more than a dozen sites from the lakefront to the river, including the 1844 Benjamin Church House in Estabrook Park, Hubbard Park, Luther Memorial Chapel and the Romanesque St. Robert’s Parish, built in the 1930s.
Spaces & Traces 2013: The Village of Shorewood takes place Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. In addition to the sites around the village, there will be a number of events.
Two lectures that day promise to be interesting and informative.
At 11 a.m. at St. Robert Parish, 2200 E. Capitol Dr., historian John Gurda will present "A History of the Village of Shorewood," focusing on the architectural and social history of this old Milwaukee suburb.
Two hours later, authors and architects Louis Wasserman and Caren Connolly will give a talk about the Bungalow, at the Luther Memorial Chapel, 3833 N. Maryland Ave.
"We decided on Shorewood because of 2011's completed architectural survey, the efforts to create a preservation ordinance, its intact array of historic homes and apartment buildings representing a wide variety of revival styles, its many WPA projects, connection to the river – not to mention it is one of Milwaukee's first suburbs," says Historic Milwaukee Inc. Anna-Marie Opgenorth.
"The Village is also currently seeing a lot of development activity commercially, within the business district. It is very interesting to look at this through the eyes of the Village's history."
The volunteer-driven event has also focused on stately mansions, working class homes, condos, elegant building lobbies, former breweries, cemeteries, parks, firehouses, warehouses, taverns and other buildings across Milwaukee, including in Sherman Park, Yankee Hill, Bay View, Story Hill, the Third Ward, Brady Street, Riverwest and other neighborhoods, too.
I asked Opgenorth if she had a favorite among the sites taking part in the event.
"My favorite site is Shorewood High School, the top high school in the state! It is a great building," she says.
"But if you want me to choose a residence it would be the Mediterranean Revival home designed by Eschweiler at 3534 N. Lake Dr. or the Benjamin Church House. There are, of course, many great buildings, so I recommend everyone get on their bike and partake in the Amazing Milwaukee Race Shorewood photo hunt that Adam Baum put together specifically for Spaces & Traces."
Tickets are $25 in advance ($20 for Historic Milwaukee Inc. members) and $30 ($25 for members) on May 18 (available at Shorewood High School that day).
Complete ticket and site details can be found at Historic Milwaukee’s Spaces & Traces website.
But, hey, you don’t have to wait until mid-May to get your Shorewood on. Historic Milwaukee dishes up an appetizer in the form of a panel discussion about the past, present and future or Shorewood and its architecture on Tuesday, April 30.
"Preserving an Architectural Legacy," set for 6 p.m. at North Shore Presbyterian Church, 4048 N. Bartlett Ave., costs $10, $5 for members of Historic Milwaukee Inc. and the Shorewood Historical Society.
The panelists are former Shorewood School Board and Village Board member Michael Spector; Paul Jakubovich of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission; Carol Cartwright, an historic resources consultant; and Guy Johnson, president of the Shorewood Village Board of Trustees. The Shorewood Historical Society’s Karen de Hartog will moderate the discussion.
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.