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Doors Open Milwaukee returns with over 130 citywide locations and neighborhood tours

Four people stand overlooking the Milwaukee skyline
Courtesy of Historic Milwaukee
Courtesy of Historic Milwaukee
Doors Open Milwaukee returns this weekend. Here, four people stand overlooking the Milwaukee skyline from the top of the Milwaukee Athletic Club, one of the returning Doors Open participants.

September 23rd and 24th, 2023 marks the return of Doors Open Milwaukee. The annual citywide open house event, organized by Historic Milwaukee, is an opportunity to get inside access to buildings and organizations that are usually closed to the public.

The list includes access into historic buildings, businesses, churches, organizational buildings and more. The annual event started in 2011 as a way for people to engage with historic Milwaukee architecture and get an inside look at these buildings and the people who run them today.

This year, over 130 buildings are opening their doors for free tours, and neighborhood tours of Lindsay Heights and Layton Boulevard are available in English and Spanish via the Historic Milwaukee app.

Grace Fuhr, events director for Historic Milwaukee, says that one of the goals of Doors Open Milwaukee is to introduce people to neighborhoods they do not normally visit. She hopes that by being exposed to new neighborhoods and people, barriers between neighborhoods may begin to break down.

"Last year, 65% of respondents said that they did visit a new neighborhood, and 66% of those people said that they would visit the neighborhood again," Fuhr shares. "So we're hoping that the impact of Doors Open goes beyond the weekend."

Patrick Darrough, one of the owners of Milwaukee Microgreens, is participating for the first time this year. Darrough says he hopes to make new connections through the event that lead to future collaboration.

"I just know I'm very excited to see a lot of new faces," he says. "That's something that makes me proud [to be a Milwaukeean] is to meet and work with like-minded people who want to meet and accomplish things."


Sam is a WUWM producer for Lake Effect.
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