Nonprofit Spotlight: Historic Milwaukee, Inc.

Historic Milwaukee
Historic Milwaukee

Historic Milwaukee, Inc.
235 E. Michigan St., Milwaukee
(414) 277-7795 | historicmilwaukee.org
Instagram: @historicmilwaukee | Twitter: @historicmke

Year founded: 1974

Mission statement: Increase awareness of and commitment to Milwaukee’s history, architecture and the preservation of our built environment.

Primary focus: We offer educational programs and tours including Doors Open, Spaces & Traces and daily and weekly walking tours. Our Hop streetcar tour is our newest tour and is offered on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Other focuses: Historic Milwaukee operates a Milwaukee-themed gift shop in the Mackie building on the corner of Michigan Street and Broadway downtown. We carry over 150 book titles, art prints, neighborhood posters and more, all related to Milwaukee’s history and architecture. This is also where the majority of our walking tours begin.

Historic Milwaukee received a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to promote the Historic East Side Commercial District, the area that contains dozens of the city’s oldest commercial structures, including  the Mackie and Mitchell buildings.

We also installed our first public art last summer, a Before I Die chalkboard wall on Broadway that received more than 4,900 interactions.

Number of employees at this location: Four full-time

Key donors: National Endowment for the Arts, Wells Fargo, Koeppen-Gerlach Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, the Zilber Family Foundation, Johnson Controls Foundation and the Milwaukee Arts Board.

Executive leadership: Stacy Swadish, executive director; Grace Fuhr, events director; Julia Griffith, program director.

Board of directors: Sarah Greenberg, Margaret Howland, Stewart Dempsey, Tim Cotter, Dan Sweeney, Karin Censky, Gregory Davis, Madeleine Gordon, David Griggs, Brian Hatzung, Ahmad Omari, Krisann Rehbein, Jayne Rodenkirk, Tamara Smith-Kroupa, Kirsten Thompson, Zach Wambold. Our advisory board includes John Gurda, Joshua Jeffers, Bruce Block, Dan Cooper, Rick Donner and Kathy Kean.

Ways the business community can help your nonprofit: Employee volunteerism, providing financial support via sponsorships, grants and memberships. Another great help is to open up your business for a hard hat tour or as a Doors Open site. We are seeking sponsors for the 10th annual Doors Open, set for Sept. 26-27. Email grace.fuhr@historicmilwakee.org or learn more about being a sponsor at historicmilwaukee.org/doors-open. Buildings and business can apply to be part of Doors Open here: historicmilwaukee.org/doors-open/building-participation.

Key fundraising events: Remarkable Milwaukee dinner gala on Feb. 20 at Discovery World Pavilion. We are honoring C.G. Schmidt. John Gurda is the dinner speaker. 

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