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Historic Homes in Milwaukee

Explore Milwaukee Historic Homes Open to Public Tour

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The early industrialists of Milwaukee left a few legacies to the city of Milwaukee. Their names grace factories, streets, neighborhoods and public places, and some of their beautiful homes still stand as testament to a bygone era. Visit any of the mansions on this list for a fun lesson in architecture and you'll often get a great dose of Milwaukee history along the way.

1. The Pabst Mansion

Image courtesy Visit Milwaukee

The Pabst Mansion is a must-see stop for those interested in Milwaukee's storied history as the one-time "beer capital of the world," as well as for fans of historical architecture. Completed in 1892, the mansion is considered today to be a fine example of Flemish Renaissance Revival architecture. Saved from the wrecking ball in the '70s, today the Pabst Mansion is open to the public as a museum, and a popular place for weddings, wedding receptions, and other private parties.

Learn more about The Pabst Mansion.

2. Schuster Mansion

Built in 1891, the Schuster Mansion is an eclectic castle-like home built primarily in the German Renaissance Revival style. It is also notable for the bright red of it's color palette. Commissioned by George J. Schuster, the mansion was designed by the the firm of Crane and Barkhausen, and has attained historical significance as one of the earliest and most flamboyant of the German Renaissance Revival style houses -- a style that was quite popular in 1890s Milwaukee -- designed by that firm. Today the mansion is a popular bed and breakfast, though the general public can also visit during their once-monthly "high tea" events without having to book a room.

Learn more about the Schuster Mansion.

3. Villa Terrace

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey

A slice of Italy perched on a bluff above Lake Michigan, Villa Terrace was originally the home of Lloyd Smith, one-time leader of the A.O. Smith Corporation, and his family. Designed and built in 1923 by architect David Adler, the home is truly an Italian Renaissance-style villa, complete with acres of formal gardens over looking the (sometimes) blue waters of the lake. Today, Villa Terrace is open to the public as a decorative arts museum, and also a popular spot for hosting beautiful special events.

Learn more about the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

4. Villa Filomena

The oldest residence on this list, Villa Filomena was built in 1874 as the home of Milwaukee shipping magnate Captain Robert Patrick Fitzgerald. A Victorian mansion of the Italianate style, this beautiful building was cycled through many owners and incarnations before being renamed Villa Filomena and opened as a venue available for special event rental. Technically, Villa Filomena is not open to public tour, but chances are Milwaukee residents could still find themselves within the villa's walls on special occasions.

Learn more about Villa Filomena.

5. Charles Allis House

Built in 1911, the Charles Allis house is a beautiful Tudor-style mansion located on Milwaukee's Prospect Avenue. Better known as the Charles Allis Art Museum, the home is now a showcase for the Allis' extensive collection of paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics and more, as well as a popular place for hosting special events. Designed by famed architect Alexander Eschweiler and built by Charles Allis of the Allis-Chalmers Corporation, the mansion was always intended by the Allis family to become a gift -- along with the extensive art collection within -- to the people of Milwaukee.

Learn more about the Charles Allis Art Museum.

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