Downtown Milwaukee

The Downtown District is broken up into 3 main sub-districts: the Old 3rd Ward- A rejuvenated warehouse district; East Town- home to some stunning turn of the century commercial bldgs esp. along Wisconsin Avenue but also lots of modern high rises along the lake forming Milwaukee’s mini Golden Coast. Also some very nice late 19th century residential/instructional development in East Town between Kilbourne and Knapp. Milwaukee is the most in-tact historic downtown street cutting across both West and East Towns.  West Town- this is the most underinvested part of Dwtn with lots of dead spots but some good nodes including the old Department store district on Wisconsin, the German themed block on Old Word 3rd St., the redeveloped Pabst complex at the Brewery District, and Civic Complex at McPherson Park.

Both West Town and East Town hosted more or less original settlements in Milwaukee established in the 1830s. East Town was historically called the Juneau Town and West Town was called Kilbourn Town. Along with being a major warehousing district in the City the Historic 3rd Ward was once home to Irish, and then, Italian immigrants.

From an urban perspective Downtown Milwaukee is very similar to Downtown Cleveland and Detroit with its broad streets, striking historic buildings, and warehouse district. But it also has Chicago influences with its expansive lakefront park feeding seamlessly into Downtown, river promenade, and great bike infrastructure. Downtown Milwaukee also has solid cultural amenities, decent retail amenities (although still missing a supermarket), diversity of housing types, stunning public buildings (City Hall, Public Library, and McArthur City complex), and many public plazas spread throughout. The biggest area of improvement needed in Dwtn Milwaukee is more urban in-fill especially in all the dead spots and surface parking lots in West Town but Dwtn could also use better tree canopy, better racial and generational diversity, better walkable schools, a more interesting skyline, and a narrowing of its many wide streets.

Click here to view my East Town Album, West Town Album, and Historic 3rd Ward


* Excellent density for a downtown.
* Good dedicated bike coverage throughout most of the City and to many of the suburbs.
* Good dedicated bike coverage in Dwtn, Northside, inner west side, and limited to the southside. The urban suburbs of West Allis and Wauwatosa also have great dedicated bike station coverage.
* Excellent economic diversity living Dwtn.
* Solid for sale options with a wide range of price points. 1-bed condo sell btwn 100K-600K, 2-beds btwn 225K-900K but some high end product in the Millions. Good # of 3 & 4 bed selling btwn 400K-2 M.
* Pretty good rental options pretty inline pricewise with most Dwtns. Studios 1-beds lease btwn 1K-2K- 2-beds 1K-3K, and some 3-beds leasing btwn 3K-6K.
* Great park amenities especially the expansive lake front parks and the City Malls. Good amount of other smaller parks & plazas too. Cathedral Square is what I would consider the Civic plaza. Good layout but not centrally located and themed.
* Generally a pretty safe Dwtn but some pretty dead and sketchy felling places in West Town further from the river.
* Marquette University Students with its 11K students sits just west of Dwtn but its pretty insular. A several smaller colleges Dwtn including Milwaukee Area Technical College.
* Solid cultural amenities with a good array of food & beverage bizs, several night clubs & theaters, plenty of museums, and some art galleries especially in the 3rd Ward.. Dwtn also hosts the arena where the Milwaukee Bucks play and a smaller arena where the UWM and minor hocky team play.
* Wonderful Historic library Dtwn, which is a block away from the impressive McArthur Square surrounding by impressive Beau Arts Gov’t Bldgs and Museums.
* Dwtn certainly punches over its weight class with around 80K employees working in the CBD (at as of 2020).
* Good retail amenities include an active public market, tons of banks several butcher shops, a drug store, several boutiques & gift shops, a TJ Maxx, a couple book stores, some dessert joins and gyms and several churches. Large hospital on the western edge of West Town.
* Some good infill in East Town with several attractive high-rises near the lake and mixed-use infill.


* Generally good connectivity with the street grid but and good number of wide roads often 1-way.
* So so racial diversity living Dwtn.
*Very few children living Dwtn but good amount museums and child friendly destinations.
* Decent # of walkable schools within or near Dwtn but mixed ratings.
* There are a couple post offices on the edges of Dwtn but the historic post office is no longer active.
* Decent skyline with several landmark buildings but not enough cohesion to be a great skyline.
* Lots of surface parking lots in West Town and uninspiring auto centric structures in spots. Lots of surface parking lots on the eastern and southern edges of the 3rd Ward as well.
* Tree canopy is so so.
* Some good pedestrian activity is spots and plenty of dead spaces in between them especially the western half of West Town.

Bay View- Stable Urban District in Milwaukee’s Southside

Bay View was established as a company town when the Milwaukee Iron Company, led by Eber Brock Ward, opened a steel rolling mill south of the original Milwaukee River Outlet in 1868. Bay View existed as an independent village for eight years but was eventually annexed into the City of Milwaukee in 1887.  Much of the original company footprint is preserved in the Bay View Historic District. The southern third of Bay View (south of Oklahoma Ave) is much newer and built up in the 1920s-1940s

The Business district that runs along W-32 or S Kinnickinnic Ave is the longest cohesive historic biz district in the City and full of a diverse array of retail and cultural amenities. There is also some retail along Clement Ave, Oklahoma, and Howell Avenues. Chase Ave contains very autocentric strip centers and big box stores, helpful in the retail amenities it provides but awful for the district’s urban form. Bay View’s best homes are along the lake but there are also some nice pockets west of Kinnickinnic Ave and attractive 1920s-1940s homes south of Oklahoma Ave. Bay View also excels at providing its residents excellent park amenities, great variety of for-sale housing options, good access to Dwtn among all modes of transportation, quality walkable schools, and a high level of safety. I consider Bay View a top 5 district in Milwaukee. In order to become an elite district it needs more multi-family infill, more density, better ADA infrastructure, new streetscape and a complete re-design of the suburban looking Chase Avenue.

Click here to view my Bay View Album on Flickr


* Overall good public transit. It varies a lot throughout the district depending on how close you are to arterial corridors.
* Good bike infrastructure with several dedicated bike lanes and a couple of bike share stations.
* Convenient to Dwtn among all modes of transportation.
* Good # of walkable schools and generally rated well.
* Good variety of for sale options. Healthy number of condos and SF homes selling btwn 150K-400K, lots of variety with 2-bed homes selling btwn 150K-600K, 3 & 4 beds range btwn 175K-800k. Some mansions sell above 1 M.
* Okay # of rentals but go price ranges. 1-beds lease btwn $800-2K, more 2-beds leasing btwn 900K-the low 2Ks, decent amount of 3-beds leasing btwn 1.5K-3K. Decent # of dedicated affordable hsg too.
* Great park amenities starting with the expansive Humboldt Park & Baran Park, and extensive lakefront park. Also many small-medium sized parks too.
* Great culturally amenities including a wonderful array of food & beverage bizs, lots of live music venues & night clubs, a historic theater, a community theater, several art galleries, and a couple museums.
* Good retail amenities as well include 2 supermarkets, a couple drug stores, a target, home depot, plenty of banks, great variety of boutiques/consignments stores & bookstores, lots of creative stores, plenty of gyms and dessert joints, a public library & post office, & lots of churches.
* Overall a very safe place.
* Decent pedestrian connections esp. along the main commercial corridor (Memorial Hwy).
* Historic architecture ranges from 1870s-1940s getting newer the further south you go. Also gorgeous newer mansions along the cost.
* Generally very good urban massing along  S Kinnickinnic Ave and decent urban massing through the district except for Chase Ave which is lined with big boxes & strip malls.


* Underwhelming density thanks to all the park and industrial space in the neighborhood.
* Overall good sidewalk and ADA infrastructure but more than 1/2 of the curb cuts are out of date.
* Most of the in-fill bland autocentric but some good mixed-use infill on the northern edge of the district.
* The streetscaping is pretty tired and warn but works.

Lincoln Village- Home of the Basilica of Saint Josaphat and now a Predominately Mexican Neighborhood

Lincoln Village was founded by Milwaukee’s Polish community in the late 19th century. Given its rapidly expanding Polish population a larger Catholic Church was quickly needed in the turn of the 20th century. St. Josaphat’s Bascilia was born modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome but also using de-constructed materials from the Chicago Federal Building. It is certainly a wonderful to behold both inside and out and is a striking landmark for the neighborhood.

The newest residents of Lincoln Village have immigrated predominately from the Jalisco and Michoacán States of Mexico. This recently wave of immigration has helped stabilize Lincoln Village with most of its urban fabric remaining in tact.  From an urban perspective Lincoln Village is Milwaukee’s most dense neighborhood, hosts quality public transit and good bike infrastructure, great parking amenities (esp. Kosciuszko Park), decent retail amenities, and pretty good urban massing along Lincoln Avenue. Lincoln Village’s biggest need is more investment to repurpose its many vacant commercial spaces, improve its infrastructure, and add more retail and cultural amenities to the community. The district also still struggles with some lingering crime and perception issues, could use better sidewalk and ADA infrastructure, and lacks many “listed rentals”.  With its density, this could become a truly walkable district and premiere Milwaukee district.

Click here to view my Lincoln Village Album on Flickr


* Great density.
* Good public transit and bike infrastructure with solid access to Dwtn.
* Great generational diversity as this is a very family friendly neighborhood.
* Great park amenities including the expansive Kosciuszko Park & Community Center, the many ballfields at Baran Park Pulaski park including an indoor pool, and Modrzejewski Playground.
* Decent schools but mixed ratings.
* Lots of affordable for-sale product available. Small # of 1-bed homes selling btwn 65K-100K, 2-beds sell for 85K-175K. 3&4 beds sell btwn 85K-225K.
* Good retail amenities including an Aldi’s, several ethnic grocerias (mostly Hispanic), a bike store, several banks, record store, a couple clothing stores, plenty of salons/barber shops, several bakeries & dessert joints, and lots of churches.
* Decent urban massing along Lincoln Ave but plenty of holes


* Ok racial diversity. Still a high poverty rate as about 1/3 of residents are living in poverty.
* Overall good sidewalk and ADA infrastructure but about 1/2 of the curb cuts are out of date.
* Rentals are a bit limited (at lease listed ones) but affordable. 1-beds lease for ~$650. 2-beds for $700-1K, 3-beds for ~ 1K.
* Pretty limited cultural amenities including several ethnic restaurants (mostly Mexican) and a couple of bars.
* No public library or post office
* Some safety and blight issues here but not terrible.
* Really no modern in-fill other some auto centric businesses.
* Some nice historic commercial structures and of course the gorgeous Basilica of Saint Josaphat but the residential is uninspiring architecturally.
* Tired looking streetscaping.
* Pedestrian activity is so .
* Neighborhood still struggles from image issues.

Historic Mitchell Street- Heart of Milwaukee’s Southside and now Mexican Community

I also included the Clock Towner Acres in this evaluation. The small neighborhood east of I-94

Mitchell Street neighborhood is the historic heart of Milwaukee’s densely populated  south side. Mitchell Street was a major shopping district in the turn of the century hosting many department, furniture, and retail stores, including eventually a major Sears Department Store. The commercial district is surrounded many duplexes and triplexes, also locally known as Polish flats. But also plenty of single family homes and medium sized apartment buildings. Like a typical progression in Milwaukee the district was originally settled by German immigrants in the 1850s and 1860s who were quickly replaced by Pols. This became a major stronghold of the Polish Community and just south of the neighborhood is the gorgeous Basilica of Saint Josaphat, built by Polish immigrants.

The neighborhood has certainly experienced some disinvestment since WWII but retained its fabric thanks to Mexican immigrants who now comprise 70% of the neighborhood. Most of Mitchell Street is intact but it faces many vacancies. Even Mitchell street still hosts a good # of restaurants, grocerias, art galleries, and retail amenities (especially furniture stores). The neighborhood overall hosts a decent # of walkable schools, and is overall a pretty walkable community. The urban components are here for a great neighborhood, what Historic Mitchell Street needs to become a great neighborhood is more investment, retail amenities, and especially park amenities. 

Click here to view my Historic Mitchell Street album on Flickr


* Excellent urban density.
* Generally very good ADA and sidewalk infrastructure. About 1/3 of curb cuts are outdated.
* Historic residential architecture is nothing special but some wonderful historic commercial bldgs along Mitchell and gorgeous churches throughout.
* Good # of dedicated bike lanes but not bike stations here.
* Very Hispanic neighborhood but still decent diversity. Good generational diversity as well.
* Good # of walkable schools but mixed ratings.
* Decent cultural amenities including many Mexican restaurants, several bars, a couple art galleries and night clubs.
* Good retail amenities including many ethnic grocerias (Hispanic and Middle Eastern), several drug stores & dollar stores, plenty of banks, several boutiques/clothing stores (esp. shoe stores),  several Mexican bakeries, plenty of salons & barber shops, a couple jewelry stores, plenty of furniture stores, a local public library & post office,  a couple medical centers, and plenty of churches including a couple gorgeous Catholic ones.
* Solid urban massing, especially along Mitchell Street.
* Pretty good pedestrian activity here.


* For-sale housing is affordable but limited product available. Some 1-bed condo options, esp. in the Clock Tower Acres district. They sell btwn 125K-250, 2-beds sell btwn 75K-270K, 3&4 beds btwn 100K- the low 200KS
* Not a ton of rentals available (at least listed on Zillow). Generally very affordable. 1-beds lease for $700-$800. 2 & 3 beds btwn $700 to the low 1Ks. A few 4 beds available leasing in the mid 1Ks.
* Decent but not great tree canopy.
* Sadly this is a very underserved community when it comes to parks space. Witkowiak Park a smaller park is really the only park space in the neighborhood.
* Some safety and blight issues here but not terrible.
* Very limited modern in-fill and what does exist is generally auto centric/industrial.
* Okay streetscaping but generally dated.
* Neighborhood still struggles with an image issue.

Walker’s Point- One of Milwaukee’s original settlements now home to a large Foodie Scene and Hispanic Population

Along with including the entire Walker’s Point district I also added a block of Harbor View into the evaluation extending it Easter ward to Barclay St. This is really the only cohesive part of the Harbor View neighborhood, a mostly industrial area.

The Walker’s Point District got its name from George Walkers who in 1834 staked a claim of 160 acres on the point of land south of the confluence of the Milwaukee and Menomonee Rivers and built a crude cabin and trading post at what is now 4th Street & Bruce St. Walker’s Point developed slower than other competing settlements in current day Milwaukee but slowly began to grow in the 1840s hosting 1,366 residents by 1846. Within a decade Walker’s Point more than doubled its population including a large number of German immigrants. By the 1870s & 1880s the neighborhood welcomed mostly Polish immigrants.

Walker’s Point is also home to the first Pabst Brewing Company facility which opened in 1841. Thanks to the extensive history at Walker’s Point the neighborhood hosts an eclectic mix of styles ranging from workers’ cottages to large architect-designed homes, craftsman’s shops and large factories. More recently Walker’s Point became home to the City’s gay community and welcomed large numbers of Mexican families (now almost 70% of the districts population). Walker’s Point is also a hotbed of foodie activity with many of its historic warehouses converted into office, retail, and residential lofts. I also really like the strong mixed use character of the district, especially east of I 94. There are 7 district business districts here, creating a very walkable neighborhood bolstered by great transit and bike infrastructure. Walker’s Point also has a good range of housing types, often at affordable/moderate prices (esp. west of I-94).  For Walker’s Point to become a premier urban neighborhood it needs to continue filling in its vacant and underutilized spaces with quality urban infill along with creating more parks and recreational space. This will naturally create more retail amenities leading to a more vibrancy and walkable community.

Click here to view my Walker’s Point album on Flickr


* Solid ADA and sidewalk infrastructure.
* Decent tree canopy the father west you go in the neighborhood.
* Great public transit access and solid bike infrastructure.
* Very convenient access to Dwtn.
* Excellent generational diversity with a high pct of families living here. Decent racial and economic diversity. This is a very Hispanic neighborhood comprising nearly 70% of the residents.
* Great # of walkable schools but mixed ratings.
* Generally a pretty safe community.
* Lots of great commercial and warehouse historic architecture. Residential architecture is more modest given this was a working class neighborhood. Good Mixed-use infill on the eastern half.
* Good # of rentals with diverse price points. 1-beds range between $700-1.5K, 2 & 4-beds range btwn $750-3K. Decent amount of dedicated afford hsg here too.
* Similar situation with for sale. Some studios & 1-beds selling in the 100Ks & 200Ks, 2-beds sell btwn 175K-400K, 3 & 4 beds btwn 100K-500K. As a general rule of thumb housing is much cheaper west of I-94.
* Solid cultural amenities including a great # of food & beverage bizs (esp. Mexican), breweries, many art galleries, several local theaters & live music venues, plenty of night clubs, an a bobblehead museum.
* Good retail amenities as well including a supermarket, several grocerias, a couple pharmacies, many boutiques/vintage stores, plenty of gift shops, home good & furniture. Antique stores, several banks, lots of salons/barber shops, plenty of gyms & dessert joints, a post office, and plenty of churches.
* Generally good form in the many biz districts (2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, & 16th streets, Florida, and National Ave)
* Lots of landmarks here with the larger historic factory buildings.


* Park space to limited to a couple small parklets.
* Decent amount of underutilized industrial land remaining in spots.
* No public library in the neighborhood.

Brewer’s Hill & Halyard Park- Two Revitalizing Urban Districts in Milwaukee’s Northside

The name Brewers’ Hill is derived from the large number of brewery workers and owners who once inhabited the area. Just to the south of the neighborhood, the Schlitz and Blatz breweries operated into the 1980s. Historically Brewer’s Hill was developed as very mixed neighborhood where a laborer’s cottage could stand across the street from a manager’s  mini mansion. This created a plethora of interesting turn of the century architectural styles including a mix of Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival. The district also has a fair share of warehouses near the Schlitz Brewery and Milwaukee River. These have been converted into office and condos as the neighborhood has revitalized.

MLK Drive is the dividing line between Halyard Park and Brewer’s Hill. Sadly this stood as a racial divide for much of the neighborhood’s history but this is becoming less and less the case as both neighborhoods revitalize. Halyard Park is historically a African American district that fell on hard times after the 60s and the construction of I-43. In response to widespread disinvestment and vacancy the neighborhood redeveloped much of its fabric with large suburban homes in the 1980s.  This was done by a resident and Black developer named Eechie Brooks and brought much needed Black homeownership to Halyard Park. Halyard Park was nicknamed the “Suburb within the City”.  Sadly this also had the downside of destroying more of the district’s quality urban fabric and density.

From an urban perspective the neighborhoods have quality access to bike and transit infrastructure, convenience to Dwtn, good for-sale housing diversity, decent retail and cultural amenities, and some great historic housing. To become a great urban district Halyard Park & Brewer’s Hill need more density, more 1-bedroom rentals, better park amenities, more urban in-fill on blighted land, and better urban massing along North Ave.

Click here to view my Brewer’s Hill Album and Click here to view my Halyard Park Album on Flickr


* ADA and sidewalk infrastructure is generally good but a fair amount of residential streets with outdated curb cuts.
* Solid public transit and bike infrastructure access.
* Excellent access to Downtown.
* Great economic and racial diversity here. Decent age diversity but limited # of households with kids.
* Pretty good walkable school access but mixed ratings.
* Pretty good for sale diversity. Decent # of 1-bed condos selling btwn 185K-350K, 2-beds sell btwn 185K-550K, 3 & 4 beds sell between 185K-575K.
* Decent but not great cultural amenities including a good # of food & beverage bizs, a community theater, the American Black Holocaust Museum, a couple breweries.
* Decent but not great retail amenities including a supermarket, several boutiques/clothing stores, a hardware store, plenty of salons/barber shops, good # of churches.
* Some very attractive historic architecture along MLK Drive and good # of attractive homes throughout Brewer’s Hill.


* Okay # of rentals. Limited # of studios and 1-beds. Some 2-beds leasing 1K-2K. Good amount of 3-beds leasing btwn 1K-3K although most in the $1,000s.
* So so park amenities. Expensive recreational parks west of Halyard Park but little else with parks inside these neighborhoods. The expansive Kilbourne Reservoir Park is also only a couple blocks east of Brewer’s Hill.
* Still some safety issues especially in Halyard but this seems to be improving. Still a decent amount blight and vacancy especially in Halyard thanks to severe racial disparities.
* Very mixed bag with urban in-fill. Some quality Multi-family bldgs close to the Milwaukee River. Lots of large suburban housing built in Halyard Park in the 70s-90s.
* Urban massing is a mixed bag. Generally pretty good along MLK Dr. but lots missing death and auto centric blight along North Ave.  Many residential streets in Halyard park are filled with large suburban homes as well. Streetscaping is fine but nothing special about it.
* Still struggling with some image issues, especially Halyard Park but this should lessen in the upcoming years.

Downer and Cambridge Woods- the Neighborhoods Surrounding the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

The district’s boundaries includes the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and all of the Cambridge Woods and Downer Woods neighborhoods. I included UWM in the evaluation to get an accurate population for the neighborhood but am generally not including it for the rest of the evaluation.  However, many parts of the neighborhood are intertwined with the University and thus impossible to separate.

Cambridge Woods and Downer Woods developed in the first half of 20th century as a mix of single-family, duplex, condo, and multi-family units. There is an interesting eclectic mix of stylings ranging from  Queen Anne mansions to bungalows,.

The University of Wisconsin Madison began as Milwaukee-Downer College, a women’s college. In 1956, Wisconsin State College-Milwaukee merged with the University of Wisconsin–Extension’s Milwaukee division to form the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. This merger led to a rapid reconstruction and expansion of the existing campuses helping to shape what it looks like today. It is not surprising that the majority of the campus is very modern looking. Fortunately the university also hosts a lot of green space and cultural amenities. The surrounding Cambridge/ Downer Woods certainly were affected by the creation of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee becoming much more student oriented in their housing and the Oakland business district has a very strong college feel. But the neighborhoods still retain a decent homeownership presence, especially Downer Woods along the Lake. The neighborhoods also have wonderful park access, public transit and bike infrastructure, and a very full tree canopy. Areas for improvement include more walkable schools, better retail amenities, improved racial and generational diversity, and more 1-bedroom options (both rental and for sale).  

Click here to view my Downer Woods album and Click here to view my Cambridge Woods Album on Flickr


* Good urban density.
* Excellent access to public transit and bike infrastructure.
*Good ADA and sidewalk infrastructure but lots of missing modern curb cuts.
* Very attractive 1910s-1940s historic housing including. Gorgeous mansions in Downer Woods near the lake or very cute Tudors just west of UWM.
* Connectivity is generally very good but gets less so surrounding the University.
* Excellent economic diversity thanks largely to the student population.
* Decent # of rentals and moderately priced. Unfortunately there are few 1-beds here but they generally lease around $800-900. 2-beds for in the low-mid 1Ks, 3-beds anywhere from the low 1Ks- the mid 2Ks. Plenty of 4-beds that costs slightly more.
* For sale product is also generally moderately priced also. Very limited 1-bed options but good # of 2-beds that sell anywhere btwn 230K-the low 300Ks. 3 & 4 beds sell btwn 185K-550K. Many of the 2 & 3 beds are set up more like condos.
* Great park amenities with the lengthy recreational trail running along the Milwaukee River, Cambridge Woods, convenient access to Riverside Park and Lake Park, and the quad space at UWM.
* Very pleasant and generally full tree canopy.
* Good cultural amenities including plenty of Food & Beverage bizs, several art galleries at the University, and quality Performing Arts at the University as well.
* Generally a safe area but some crime given its high student population.
* Not much infill in the neighborhoods but plenty at the University of mixed quality.
* Solid urban massing along Oakland the main Biz District.


* So so racial diversity but poor generational diversity thanks to the overpowering student population here.
* Only a handful of schools in the area and generally not rated well.
* Okay retail amenities including a drug store, a couple vintage/clothing stores, the university bookstore, several salons and barber shops, a print shop, and plenty of churches & Synagogues.
* No walkable access to a grocery store, post office, or library.

Milwaukee’s Upper East Side- Attractive early 20th Century District that hosts the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Business District

This early 20th century leafy neighborhood contains great green spaces like Riverside Park, with its Urban Ecology Center, and Lake Park. It also sits just south of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee giving its commercial district along Downer Avenue a very strong college vibe with lots of ethnic restaurants and sub shops. The Upper East Side also boasts of great public transit and bike access, convenience to Downtown, great economic diversity as there are many affordable 3 & 4 bedroom rentals, and gorgeous historic homes especially near Lake park and along New berry Blvd.

What Upper East Side lacks the most are 1 & 2 bedroom rentals and condos. This is something that the nearby neighborhoods of Lower East Side and Murray Hill have in abundance.  There is also limited racial and generational diversity, few quality walkable schools, and so so retail amenities.

Click here to view my Upper East Side Album on Flickr


* Decent urban density.
* Great public transit and bike access. Very convenient access to Dwtn.
* Top notch connectivity.
* Great economic diversity
* Very good sidewalk and ADA infrastructure. About 1/3 of curb buts are not up to modern standards.
* Excellent Tree canopy.
* Great access to park space sitting between the expansive Lake and Riverside Parks.
* Good access to cultural amenities including a good # of food & beverage Bizs, a couple live music venues, the many cultural activities at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and convenient access to Murray Hills Downer Ave Biz District.
* Overall a very safe community.
* Great historic homes, especially near Lake Park and along Newberry Blvd.


* So so racial and generational diversity. Tons of colleges students here but also a good amount of family households with/ kids.
* Only a handful of schools in the area and generally not rated well.
* Some housing diversity but very few 1-beds for sale and some 2-beds. 2-beds sale for btwn 300K-500K, 3 & 4 beds btwn 250K-850K; good amount of this larger hsg sell around 300K.
* Very limited 1 & 2 beds for lease. 2-beds sell in the low 1Ks. Decent amount of 3-beds leasing btwn 1.3K-2K. 4-beds lease for around 2K and a decent amount of it.
* Decent retail amenities including a drug store, a couple retail stores, a print shop, lots of salons & barber shops, several churches. Supermarket and hardware stores are located a couple blocks south along Downer. The Upper East Side Biz District along Oakland is very couple focused, which limits store options.
* Urban in fill is very limited. But not much auto centric development.

Riverside Park & Murray Hill- Two excellent urban districts in Milwaukee’s East Side

Murray Hill was built primarily in the early  20th century, primarily bungalows, two-family duplexes, and larger apartment buildings. The area quickly became home to many Italian Immigrants and there is still some evidence of this influence.

Riverside is noted for its racial and ethnic diversity, including large numbers of African-Americans and Caucasians, as well as growing Iranian, Russian, Asian, and Hispanic populations. With the neighborhood’s proximity to the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, a sizable college student population also resides there. Both Murray Hill and Riverside Park have seen rises in housing value thanks to their solid walkable amenities, and access to Dwtn and UMW.

Both neighborhoods also excel at great access to park, retail, and cultural amenities, great public transit and bike access, great housing diversity including lots of moderately priced housing, good tree canopy, and solid architecture. There are several commercial nodes in the neighborhood including North Avenue, a couple blocks of Murray Avenue & Farwell Ave, and Downer Avenue. The biz districts of the Lower East Side around North Avenue and Oakland Ave in the Upper East Side are nearby as well.

Areas for improvement from an urban perspective include better ADA curb cuts, better schools and more families, and urban infill in the auto centric pockets of the neighborhood along parts of North Avenue and Farwell Avenue.

Click here for my Murray Hill Album and click here for my Riverside Park Album on Flickr


* Great public transit and bike access.
* Very convenient access to Dwtn.
* Great economic diversity and solid racial diversity.
* Good # of apartments and generally moderately priced. 1-beds lease btwn 800K- 1.5K, 2-beds mostly line the low 1Ks but some luxury product leasing in the 2Ks, and lots of 3-beds available leasing btwn 1K to the mid 2Ks. Even an handful of 4 beds available. Vast majority of rentals are in Murray Hill.
* Great mix of for sale options. Decent # of 1-bed condos selling in the 100Ks and low 200Ks, -beds. Tons of 2-beds selling btwn 150K-450K. 3 & 4 beds selling btwn 250K- 550K
* Great access to parks and recreation here. The expansive Riverside park sides on the western edge of the Riverside neighborhood and Garden Park is just across the Milwaukee River. The expansive Lake park is just several blocks east of Murray Hill. Limited amount of parks in Murray Hill itself.
* Solid tree canopy here.
*Good cultural amenities including a decent # of restaurants, bars & cafes, a couple art galleries, several live music venues, a couple indie movie theaters, a bowling alley, and convenient access to all the cultural amenities of the Lower East Side near North Ave.
* Good retail amenities as well including 2 supermarkets, a couple drug stores,  a hardware store, several creative/unique stores, clothing stores mostly in nearby Lower East Side, a couple banks, several book stores, a bakery, a couple gyms, several dessert joints, a post office, several churches, and convenient access to Ascension Hospital.
* Overall these are very safe communities.
* Solid historic architecture especially in Murray Hill. Generally good modern in-fill but some auto centric stuff mixed in.
* Overall pretty good urban in-fill in the biz districts but some auto centric stretches.


* Decent sidewalk and ADA infrastructure but more than 1/2 of the curb cuts are not up to modern standards and some don’t have curb cuts at all.
* Thanks to the large college population, generational diversity is pretty limited. But some families here.
* Only a handful of schools in the area and ratings are mixed.

The Historic Water Tower Neighborhood- Home to many Gorgeous Mansions and the Gothic WaterTower

The Historic Water Tower is naturally named after its namesake, The North Point Water Tower, built in 1873. This was part of Milwaukee’s first public waterworks, with attractive Victorian Gothic. The neighborhood slowly was built after the completion of the water tower moving from south to north. At that time the area was just considered part of the East Side neighborhood and not as a separate district. I suspect the Historic Water Tower neighborhood name didn’t come into fashion until the preservation of movement of the 1970s. Five separate historic districts were created here with many notable historic buildings being added to the registry.

The norther half of the district was built around the N Downer Ave. commercial node and  has a very early 20th century street car character. The homes tend to get more spacious and SF detached the further north you go. From an urban perspective the Historic Water Tower district also excels at quality retail and cultural amenities in a walkable setting, has a good array of for sale housing, excellent park amenities, and great tree canopy. The neighborhood’s biggest failings is a lack of racial and economic diversity. It also lacks quality schools, has limited rentals, and no local post office. I hope the Downer and North Avenue nodes continue to densify with quality urban infill as well.

Click here to view my Historic Water Tower Album on Flickr


* Solid urban density.
* Good ADA and sidewalks infrastructure. Some older ADA curb cuts.
* Solid # of dedicated bike lanes and some bike rental stations.
* Very safe community overall.
* Good mix of moderately priced and expensive homes. Handful of condos for sale in the 200Ks & 300Ks, 2-beds range anywhere btwn 175K-650K with a lot of moderately priced condo options. 3 & 4 beds range btwn 250K- 1 M with some larger mansions selling for even more. Again a good # of moderately priced condos/townhomes selling in the 300Ks.
* Excellent access to parks including the expansive and multi-faceted Lake Park and excellent Back Bay/McKinley Park, lakefront access and several beaches. Also convenient access to the quad space at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
* Good cultural amenities, especially when you include the North Avenue commercial node located a couple blocks west. Also solid cultural amenities along Downer Ave. Good # of food & beverage biz, a couple breweries,  a pair of historic indie theaters, a couple live music venues, and several historic homes and museums, esp. when you include the cultural amenities at UWM.
* Good retail amenities including a hardware store, a bakeries, a Wholefoods & local grocery store, a drug store, good # of boutiques/clothing stores, a book store, several banks, some gyms & dessert joints, a public library, and major hospital.
* Excellent historic architecture, especially the larger homes near the lake.
* Very full tree canopy.


* Not great racial nor economic diversity. Decent generational diversity here.
* Only a handful of schools in the area and ratings are mixed.
* Rentals are pretty limited especially 1-bed.s Some 2 & 3 beds leasing btwn 1K-2.5K.
* No local post office.
* Not a ton of modern in-fill but some good modern mixed-use in-fil along Prospect.