This weekend, locals and visitors can admire the murals in Black Cat Alley; climb to Catholic Financial Life's rooftop swimming pool; sit in the barber chairs at Gee's Clippers where many Milwaukee Bucks have gotten a trim; listen to rehearsals at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts; and smile in front of the camera at Milwaukee PBS.
[caption id="attachment_329575" align="alignright" width="300"]
Photo courtesy of Mathew Vahl[/caption]
These locations are among 168 historic landmarks, religious spaces, art galleries, entertainment venues, museums and other prominent buildings in Milwaukee that are free to enter and open to the public during Doors Open Milwaukee, Sept. 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., hosted by Historic Milwaukee Inc.
"We hope that people will take the opportunity to explore the city's sites they might not have been able to otherwise and that Doors Open fosters a sense of hope and pride for our city," Grace Fuhr, director of special events at Historic Milwaukee said.
Some locations offer free guided tours, while others let visitors explore for themselves. For $10 per person, attendees can also take organized tours, led by community leaders, of locations including Brozeville's Art & Justice Trail, the Bay View Neighborhood, the Beerline Trail, the Milwaukee Club and the Johnson Controls Technology Showcase.
Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons and Bader Rutter's new downtown headquarters are among this year's 45 sites that were not featured last year.
According to Historic Milwaukee, more than 31,600 people attended last year's event and made 138,680 visits to offered locations. Now, in its seventh year, Doors Open Milwaukee is number four on the list of highest attended open house-style events in the world. Chicago, London and Toronto are the top three.
The Layton Boulevard West and Lindsay Heights Neighborhoods are the event's Spotlight Neighborhoods, the areas with the highest concentration of featured sites. Attendees can visit locations including the Domes' greenhouse buildings in Layton Boulevard West and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin in Lindsay Heights.
The Black Cat Alley mural collection, located between Kenilworth and Ivanhoe Avenues on Milwaukee's East Side, made its debut during last year's Doors Open Milwaukee.
This year, the private alley covered in murals by professional and student artists, will be featured again to display its new urban garden and a mural recently painted by David Zimmerman, local artist and owner of Bigshot Robot, a Milwaukee-based design studio.
"Images at a fantastical scale, free to look at, easily accessible, and in an informal setting," Zimmerman said. "Black Cat Alley was the perfect way to issue Milwaukee into a renaissance of public art. As Milwaukee grows, so do its artists and communities, and murals are an inspiring way to celebrate that momentum and energy. I want to be a part of that.”
Find more event information and a complete list of Doors Open Milwaukee sites at doorsopenmilwaukee.org