MILWAUKEE — Opened in May, the Milwaukee Museum Mile is a group of five arts and culture museums just up the hill from Milwaukee’s lakefront on the historic East Side of the city that have banded together to offer an opportunity to stroll the neighborhood and experience diverse collections of art and history along the way.
Begin on the south end of the mile at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee on Prospect Avenue. Dedicated to the history and culture of the Jewish people, the museum tells the story of Milwaukee’s Jewish community through artifacts, photographs, film and personal narratives.
A highlight of the museum is the Chagall tapestry displayed in its atrium, the first Chagall in the United States and, at the time it was unveiled in 1973, one of only 10 in the world.
Head north to the Museum of Wisconsin Art at St. John’s on the Lake, which features quarterly rotating exhibits that highlight Wisconsin artists.
Housed in a century-old Tudor-style mansion, the Charles Allis Art Museum is a gift to the citizens of Milwaukee from the philanthropist and arts patron. The museum features works from its namesake’s private collection of paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramics and more.
Sister museum to the Charles Allis, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum makes its home in a northern-Italian-villa-style mansion with views of Lake Michigan. The museum features European furnishings; artworks from the 1400s to the 1700s; and a 16th-century Italian garden with period statuary, terraces of flowering trees, and a water stairway, or “scaletta d’aqua.”
At the end of the mile trek, is the North Point Lighthouse in Lake Park, a beacon of Milwaukee’s maritime history, now restored to its 20th-century glory. There is a two-and-a-half-story keeper’s quarters, once operated by one of the only female lighthouse keepers in history.
Visitors can climb to the top of the 74-foot-high tower for views of Lake Michigan, the surrounding park and the city.