architecture

Gerald Williamson

All Zeddie Hyler wanted to do in 1955 was build a home in Wauwatosa, Wisc. But that wasn’t easy for a black man to do at the time. 

Hyler had to overcome many obstacles — like angry neighbors concerned about property values, and vandals. He even had to get a white friend to buy the property for him before he could even begin to build. Once the building began that’s when the vandals and arsonists hit.     

But his persistence paid off: Hyler became the first black man to build a home in Wauwatosa. When he died in 2004 he left the home to his nephew, Gerald Williamson.

Paul Higgins / Milwaukee Magazine

Architect and UWM professor Chris Cornelius sees architecture as a production of culture and the backdrop of our lives. An enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, his work focuses on his American Indian roots and how cities act as a built environment with its architecture.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)

Even if you’re not into architecture, you probably know Frank Lloyd Wright’s name. But despite being one of the most famous architects of the 20th century, and despite all of the books written about him and his work, the man himself remains a mystery. Even his autobiography was embellished and historians admit they can never truly verify fact from fiction.

"[Frank Lloyd Wright's] life is so difficult to get down," notes author and journalist Paul Hendrickson. "It has been trailed by so many distortions and mistruths, starting with everything Wright did himself."

The small wooden church is half-hidden, nestled on a hill in southeastern Wisconsin in the city of Delafield. St. John Chrysostom Episcopal Church was built in 1851, one of the historic "carpenter Gothic" churches surviving in the United States, and on the National Register of Historic Places. It's such a quiet place residents often forget it's there, though it was established by the pioneer founders of the city.

Eight of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on Sunday, elevating them to the same status as Machu Picchu, the Pyramids of Giza and the Statue of Liberty.

Tom Bamberger

Tom Bamberger is not shy. The award-winning photographer and architecture critic is known for his acerbic take on the shortcomings of Milwaukee’s architecture and public spaces. But Bamberger has a soft spot for the new Northwestern Mutual Tower and his affinity extends to the plaza in front of the building

Eppstein Uhen Architects

Photographer and architecture critic Tom Bamberger has offered pointed commentary and criticism of Milwaukee’s architecture - old and new - as well as on public art and how our green spaces should be designed. He writes a regular column about all of these things for UrbanMilwaukee.com, called In Public.

Bamberger’s recent articles tackle the issue of design and, what he calls, the lack of a good creative process.

A Milwaukee Block With the 'Wright' Stuff

Nov 15, 2016
Mitch Teich

The architect Frank Lloyd Wright is known worldwide for his distinctive buildings, often designed for well-heeled or prominent clients.  In Wisconsin alone, Wright's stamp can be found in the S.C. Johnson Wax and Wingspread facilities in Racine, Monona Terrace in Madison, and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa.

The story begins with a St. Paul, Minnesota-based family named the Griggs. In the 19th century, the family made a fortune in the lumber industry, allowing the Griggs to acquire a 872-acre estate in Northern Wisconsin, called Forest Lodge.

The Griggs’s enjoyment of their oasis on the shores of Lake Namekagon stretched across three generations. In 1999, the Lodge’s final direct heir, Mary Griggs Burke, donated the estate to The Trust for Public Land.

number1son, flickr

For more than a hundred years, the Basilica of St. Josaphat has been a landmark on Milwaukee’s South Side.

The building has been central to the spiritual life of the largest Polish Catholic parish in Wisconsin. But it has also been a tourist destination – drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.

But as the years have passed, time and weather have deteriorated the Basilica's unique architecture. And this summer, an ambitious restoration project got underway on the building’s exterior.

Tom Kubala

If you had all the money in the world and no other limitations, what would you do?

It's a question many of us have pondered when our workload starts to pile-up and the challenges ahead of us seem insurmountable. But for architect Tom Kubala, challenges and limitations are just part of what make his job fun. 

Jon Strelecki

With the only School of Architecture in Wisconsin, UWM has led the way in educating the next generation of architects in this region. One of the unique programs that is giving students a hands-on experience in using the latest technology in architecture and construction is the school’s Rapid Prototyping Lab.

sswj / Flickr

Frank Lloyd Wright is best known for his architectural designs. But a new book argues that it’s his thinking itself that was truly visionary.

New Blog Explores Old Milwaukee Buildings

May 15, 2014
Aimee Robinson

Aimee Robinson isn't a historian, she's not an architect, and she's not a Milwaukee native. So at first blush, she might not seem like the natural person to write a column on distinctive, historic Milwaukee buildings.

5 Must-See Sites at Doors Open Milwaukee 2013

Sep 18, 2013
CJ Schmit, Flickr

Some of Milwaukee best-known buildings – and some lesser-known places will welcome visitors this weekend.

Doors Open Milwaukee has grown to include 134 buildings in its third year. 

"There's a lot of places on Doors Open, a lot of new sites that people don't even know are there," says program manager Amy Grau. "The idea of Doors Open is to open every door in Milwaukee."

If you don't have time to check out all the sites, Grau offers a few spots you should make sure to see: