Spaces and Traces was born in 1981, when Historic Walker’s Point hoses an all-day tour of the interiors and exteriors of buildings. Each year since, Historic Milwaukee has drawn on the support of volunteers to show off the treasures of a different Milwaukee neighborhood.
After a great event in Shorewood last year, the 33rd annual Spaces and Traces goes west on Saturday, May 17. This year, Washington Heights swings open its doors so that tour members can see more than a dozen homes and businesses in the West Side neighborhood.
The event – the second in Washington Heights, but the first since 1992 – is presented by the Uptown Crossing Business Improvement District #16.
"We were last in this neighborhood 22 years ago are are thrilled to be back," says HMI Executive Director Stacy Swadish. "Neighborhoods aren't static. They are constantly evolving and Washington Heights shows how wonderful a City of Milwaukee neighborhood can be. It has historic – and affordable – housing stock and quiet streets and boulevards.
"Most people are familiar with Washington Boulevard but Hi Mount is a hidden treasure ... not to mention Elliot Circle, the only true circle street in Milwaukee. The North Avenue and Vliet Street commercial areas are convenient for residents and add to the overall quality of life."
The buildings on the tour include Herbert Tullgren’s 1924 terra cotta masterpiece on the corner of 60th and North, and a range of homes, including:
- Kleis House (1926), 5835 W. Elliott Circle
- Scheich House (1927-28), 1800 N. 60th St.
- Reilly House (1927), 1801 N. 59th St.
- Schier House (1923), 2106 N. 53rd St.
- Werner House (1919), 2019 N. Hi Mount Blvd.
- Schieble House (1915-16), 2105 N. 49th St.
- Hochmuth House (1928), 5231 W. Washington Blvd.
- Reisweber House (1925), 5130 W. Washington Blvd.
- Nehrbass House (1915), 1750 N. Hi Mount Blvd.
- Wilmot Borchart House (1916), 1734 N. Hi Mount Blvd.
- Radocha House (2007), 1727 N. 49th St.
- Klapp Krahn House (1928), 4811 W. Washington Blvd.
Tickets for the tour are $25, or $20 for HMI members (must be purchased at the HMI offices), and may be purchased online and at Samara Garden & Home, 5211 W. North Ave., Winkie’s Variety Store, 629 E. Silver Spring Dr., all Colectivo locations and the HMI office, 207 E. Michigan St., suite 500.
If you’re interested in volunteering to work the event, click here.
At 1 p.m., John Gurda will present "A History of Washington Heights" at Sebastian’s Catholic Church, 5400 W. Washington Blvd. Later in the day, at 5:30 p.m., there will be a post-tour celebration and raffle pull at O’Brien’s Irish Pub, 4928 W. Vliet St.
The weekend, however, really kicks off on Thursday, May 15 with a 6 p.m. preservation award reception at the Washington Park Urban Ecology Center in honor of Historic Preservation Commission Staff Planner Paul Jakubovich.
"Paul Jakubovich is so important to historic preservation in Milwaukee; it’s hard to know where to start," says Dawn McCarthy of the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance.
"His extensive knowledge of Milwaukee’s architectural history is rivaled by his knowledge and understanding of restoration techniques and solutions. Paul is a dedicated preservation planner for the city. He seeks to find solutions for homeowners so they may improve their property while also maintaining the integrity of the historic character of the property. Paul is also very generous with his time and speaks frequently to historical societies and to neighborhood associations."
The awards reception is free but seating is limited. RSVP online here.