Historic Milwaukee tour making a stop in Shorewood
Event could draw from 300 to 800 visitors to village
Shorewood - For more than three decades, a Milwaukee-based historical organization has hosted an annual event aimed at giving spectators a bird's-eye view into the city's rich history.
In a change of pace, Historic Milwaukee will hold its Spaces and Traces tour in Shorewood this year. It is the second time in the 32 years of the event that a tour has been held outside Milwaukee's city limits.
Historic Milwaukee will be collaborating with the Shorewood Historical Society for this year's event, which was announced recently and discussed at a Village Board meeting last week.
"We were thrilled that they would come to us," said Karen de Hartog, president of Shorewood Historical Society. "We see this as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate our heritage of this community and our architecture."
Grace Fuhr, program manager with Historic Milwaukee, said Shorewood was an obvious selection in this year's tour because of the village's deep roots that extend back to 1900 - first as the village of East Milwaukee and, in 1917, as the village of Shorewood.
"We wanted to come to Shorewood because of the building stock and the rich history," Fuhr said. "This is a wonderful educational opportunity."
Past tours have drawn between 300 and 800 visitors, but Fuhr said she expects about 1,000 attendees for this year's tour, which will be held May 18.
Highlights of tour
With only a few months remaining before the event is held, Historic Milwaukee and the Shorewood Historical Society have been planning logistics with the tour. Some of the stops announced Monday include the village's Department of Public Works facility and Shorewood High School. Both buildings have origins going back nearly as far as the village's incorporation.
Shorewood's oldest building, the Benjamin Church house located within Estabrook Park, is another spotlight on the tour. Additionally, plans call for opening up a number of private homes for visitors to get a feel for the housing stock within the community.
All told, Fuhr said the tour will span nearly a century of architecture in Shorewood, with the Church house dating back to 1844 and many of the homes having been constructed around 1940.
Throughout the day, several events are planned, including a lecture by Milwaukee historian and author John Gurda. A number of panel discussions also are in the works.
Attracting more members
De Hartog said she is eager to get the word out about Shorewood Historical Society and its role in the community.
"Hopefully, we'll have more Shorewood citizens who are interested in helping us with our efforts," she said.
The Village Board lauded the partnership after hearing the presentation at last week's meeting.
In the past, Historic Milwaukee has made stops in such historic Milwaukee neighborhoods as Bay View, Sherman Park, the Third Ward and Yankee Hill. The first event, held in 1981, was in Walker's Point.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: annual Spaces and Traces neighborhood tour
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18
WHERE: throughout Shorewood
INFORMATION: historicmilwaukee.org, (414) 277-7795
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