This is my guide to destinations that are expected to be served by the Milwaukee Streetcar Main Line (M-Line) later in 2018.
More sites will be added when the Lakefront Line (L-Line) is operational.
You can use this guide1 along with the Google map of the streetcar that I prepared at tiny.cc/mkesc
to familiarize yourself with what the route offers.
Comments? You can send a suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've lived in the area served by the streetcar for more than 20 years
and have gone on many thousands of walks in the area.2
This guide lists my picks for useful and fun destinations close to the streetcar stops for visitors and residents.
Criteria: I've picked general-interest destinations that are about 1-2 blocks (and in a few cases just a bit more)3 from the streetcar stops. There is much more to discover beyond that, but this guide will help you make the most of the streetcar as a base for exploring Milwaukee along its route through the city.
The "Explore Further" section includes links
to places further from the route.
Note: As in any large city, you should use due caution with your security, going about on the street4, and navigating the crosswalks (use extra caution at all intersections and cross only in designated crosswalks and obey walk signals). Be safe--and enjoy your trip.
Philosophy: Milwaukee is more than just a set of destinations, but a truly
special, walkable, urban place, and the streetcar route
gives you a "slice of life" journey through several very interesting
areas of the city.
The experience of living
in Milwaukee embraces
a confluence of the natural setting--among rivers and by the lake--and
the people, businesses, and institutions who have built, work in, and live in the historic, contemporary, and yet-to-be-built destinations.
The result is more than the sum of its parts, and I hope
that with this guide, you might gain some insight into this.
As a motivating statement, read this overview of where The Milwaukee Streetcar takes you.
The riverwalk near Buffalo Street Landing, N Water St and E Buffalo St. Climb the Buffalo spiral and overlook
the Milwaukee Riverwalk, a stunning achievement of urban transformation and livability, a spine of city walkability, enjoyment, and commerce and
winner of the Global Award for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute.
Dine at one of the restaurants along the riverwalk.
The Pabst Theater, 144 E Wells St, pabsttheater.org. A historic performing arts stage created by Captain Frederick Pabst; architect Otto Strack; National Register of Historic Places; National Historic Landmark.
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N Water St, marcuscenter.org. Live performance center including Vogel Hall, Uihlein Hall, Todd Wehr Theater, outdoor Peck Pavilion; Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet Company, Black Arts MKE, Florentine Opera Company, First Stage Milwaukee, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Broadway shows
Cathedral Square, 520 E Wells St, easttown.com. A county park outside St John's Cathedral; formerly called Courthouse Square from 1836 to 1939 as the site of Milwaukee County's first courthouse on the north end. Busy during festivals, jazz in the park, or farmer's market. When there is no festival, marvel at Saint John's Cathedral and eat at a spot nearby.
The Pfister Hotel, 424 E Wisconsin Ave, thepfisterhotel.com. A historic hotel completed in 1893; guests have included presidents, rock stars, sports stars; renowned art; resident artist; Historic Hotels of America; several restaurant choices, including the top cocktail bar, Blu.
Metro Market, 1123 N Van Buren St, metromarket.net. A unique take on an urban grocery store in a walkable neighborhood with full-service groceries plus a food court for ready-to-eat food.
Colectivo Third Ward, 223 E St Paul Ave, colectivocoffee.com. Sit with a beverage and watch the life of the city. If you sit here long enough, you'll see someone you know walk by. People-watching in the heart of it all!
The Third Ward Mixed Use: From the corner of N Broadway and E St Paul Ave, you can explore a unique architectural, historical, and cultural setting that is unparalleled in the entire state of Wisconsin in terms of walkability, mixed uses, and a largely intact cluster of repurposed historic buildings. The Historic Third Ward is home to businesses, an art school, restaurants, bars, coffeeshops, spas, theaters, galleries, boutiques, apartments, condos, dorms for the art school, and more.
Cathedral Square Entertainment: Near the corner of N Jefferson St and and E Wells St, you'll find lively restaurants and bars; major festivals including Bastille Days, Jazz in the Park, a farmers market, and more. This is part of the East Town neighborhood.
N Jackson St and E Ogden St Practicality: you'll find two full-service grocery stores plus familiar chain eateries. At Jackson at Juneau, you can go to the
Metro Market grocery or stop near Jackson and Ogden and go to the East Pointe Marketplace for the
Pick N Save grocery store plus familiar quick-service eateries.
Wisconsin Avenue Businesses: Within two blocks of the streetcar stops on Wisconsin Avenue (at Broadway and at Milwaukee), you have everything from the 37-floor 100 East Building to the 30-floor 411 building, the historic Milwaukee Club, the US Federal Courthouse, the 250 Building, the historic Wells Building, the historic Railway Exchange Building, and the historic Iron Block Building.
Generally residential: The blocks along North Jackson and along East Ogden contains thousands of apartments and condos--from large apartment and condo complexes to small buildings with studio apartments. The area around the steeple of All Saints Cathedral is called "Yankee Hill" (not to be confused with the apartment and condo towers called Yankee Hill on Jackson and State) and is an area of historic mansions, hotels, churches, and smaller apartment buildings. Of course, there are hundreds of other places to live throughout the area along the route, but this area has a larger proportion of residential population than other segments of the route.
The most empty area: Aside from the fantastic
Milwaukee Intermodal Station,
Stone Creek Factory cafe, the streetcar barn itself, and the intruiging
the streetcar route west of the Milwaukee River along St Paul is remarkably empty.
Further to the north,
the convention center complex, the former "Shops of Grand Avenue,"
offices, apartments, and
considerable amounts of car storage.
The US Post office on St Paul still occupies its bunker-like building straddling the railroad tracks; and there are empty lots along the Milwaukee River along Plankinton Avenue.
Of course, also along the route near Clybourn, you'll find many surface parking lots and old parking structures for storing cars.
This guide is designed so that it can be read on mobile
devices, or you can print this guide and have it for reference as you
go about. You may print and use it for personal use.
For commercial redistribution or publication of this guide,
please contact me.
This independent guide is not an official publication of nor is it endorsed by
The Milwaukee Streetcar.
I've lived in the area the whole time without owning a car.
Milwaukee has some great Walk Scores approaching 100 on the East Side. Indeed, it is possible to live car-free in Milwaukee (and many people do out of economic necessity.)
As you go about taking transit, you may be asked for money by people.
A good option is to donate directly to resources such as
Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative to help people of our community permanently change their lives.
I politely decline to give money to people in the street, but I give
to the above two organizations.
If you want to show you care as you are going about, you can put your spare change in the Key to Change MKE meters that are at various downtown sites.
Cathedral Square, 520 E Wells St: a county park outside St John's Cathedral; formerly called Courthouse Square from 1836 to 1939 as the site of Milwaukee County's first courthouse on the north end; used for Bastille Days, Jazz in the Park, Farmer's Market, and other events
Burns Commons, 1300 N Franklin Pl: a county park with the streetcar platform on its northern edge; includes sculpture
"Cleopatra's Wedge" and statue of Robert Burns.
You can walk east from the Burns Commons stop to overlook Lake Michigan behind the Lake Bluff Condominiums; walking further, you can go down the walkway/stairs to the Oak Leaf Trail, Veterans Park, and beyond
Milwaukee Intermodal Station: connects national Amtrak train service with regional and local bus lines and the streetcar (at W St Paul Ave and N Vel R Phillips Ave).
See MKE Transit for links to connecting lines.
Buy a permanent plastic "M Card" at the Metro Market service desk and load it with value (See RideMCTS.com) so that you can easily get on an MCTS bus if you wander from the streetcar route.
To remember which direction the streetcar heads on either N Milwaukee Street or N Broadway, you can remember: DOWN on Broadway (Broadway has an D in it) and UP on Milwaukee (Milwaukee has a U in it). Or, "UP on Milwaukee" in the sense of "positive feelings about Milwaukee."
From the streetcar
barn near N Vel R Phillips Ave and W Clybourn St, it is just
about a 400 meter walk (about 5 minutes) north to the Wisconsin Center
From the streetcar barn near
barn near N Vel R Phillips Ave and W Clybourn St, it is just
about a 960 meter walk (about 10 minutes) north to the
Fiserv Forum at 1111 N Vel R Phillips Ave.
From the streetcar stop at E Ogden Ave and N Astor St, you
can walk north on N Astor St four blocks (about 580 meters
or 7 minutes) to
reach E Brady St, a street with many bars, restaurants, shops, and