About Doors Open Milwaukee

Milwaukee City Hall

Milwaukee City Hall

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DOORS OPEN MILWAUKEE is Historic Milwaukee’s most ambitious project.

As a nonprofit organization, Historic Milwaukee, Inc. has been dedicated to increasing awareness of and commitment to Milwaukee’s history, architecture, and the preservation of our built environment through education and advocacy for thirty five years.

Milwaukee features world-class events and attractions, but no single event highlights the environment that these attractions occur in and around. On the weekend of September 20th and 21st, the fourth annual Doors Open Milwaukee event will open the doors to over 100 wonderful buildings free-of-charge to the public –buildings that hold hidden treasures and special stories – from churches to office buildings, theaters to work sites, museums to hotels, clubs to universities; all sites of historic, architectural, cultural, or commercial interest. And remember — if it rains, most of our activities are indoors.

The event has two major components: 1)  design your own itinerary to visit over 100 buildings that will open their doors (often with guided tours, no tickets necessary); 2) join one or more of over 40 in-depth tours that are ticketed (find details under the “Event Guide – In-Depth Tours” section of this website.)






“With Doors Open, Milwaukee extends an invitation to visit, explore and enjoy our city’s built environment.   Milwaukee is packed with great buildings that reveal aspects of our history, economy, and culture. Doors Open presents an opportunity to peek inside and satisfy your curiosity about notable locations. Join us to look at Milwaukee in an entirely new way.”

—Tom Barrett, Mayor of Milwaukee


“Milwaukeeans spend most of our lives in a built environment that has been evolving for 175 years, but we rarely see more  than the facades. Once a year the doors open, and the treasures in our midst will be available for all to enjoy.”

—John Gurda, Milwaukee historian