MILWAUKEE COUNTY LANDMARKS
View County Landmarks
To the right you will find a list of the towns, villages, and cities in Milwaukee County that have County Landmarks. Click on a location to see the landmarks in that area.
City of Milwaukee
2022 County Landmarks
Thank you to those who attended the Milwaukee County Landmarks Committee 2022 public hearing on Monday, 11/14/2022. Congratulations to the 2022 Confirmed Landmarks:
Black Nite Uprising
400 N Plankinton Ave. (Tavern building no longer there)
Well before Stonewall in 1969, the acknowledged start of the so-called, Gay Rights Movement, there were smaller scale uprisings throughout the United States in the 1960s and Milwaukee is the proud home of one such landmark event in the struggle for LGBT civil rights in the United States.
The Black Nite Uprising, named for the Black Nite tavern located at 400 N. Plankinton, in Milwaukee’s 4th Ward warehouse district, occurred in the early hours August 6th, 1961. A gang of 10 to 15 males entered the Black Nite with the sole purpose of attacking the LGBT clientele of the tavern, that is, singling out the Black Nite patrons for violence based upon their sexual preference. In an act of bravery and self-defense the Black Nite bar patrons repelled the assailants and in doing so, attracted the attention of the City and initiated a movement in Milwaukee that ultimately resulted in the recognition and protection of LGBT rights that the community now takes for granted.
St. Hyacinth Roman Catholic Church
1414 W. Becher St.
Founded in 1882 when Reverend Hyacinth Gulski was instructed to establish a congregation on what was then Tenth Avenue and Becher. The congregation came from the parent church of St. Stanislaus. The church was designed by Milwaukee architect Henry Messmer and construction by John Bentley and Son began in 1882. Construction was completed in early 1883 and the parish was incorporated August 20th, 1883.
The church is constructed of cream city brick with sandstone trim and incorporates Gothic and renaissance forms and details. The interior is distinguished by significant ecclesiastical art featuring ceiling frescos by Swiss artist M.L. Rusca (1889), and wall murals by Italian artist Joseph Vittur (1899).
Reflecting the parishes changing demographic from Polish to Latino, 2006 saw the installation of a mural depicting Juan Diego venerating the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 2018, the parish added a background piece inspired by the modernist interpretation of Our Lady on the Tilma from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
(St. John’s on the Hillside)
804 W Vliet St.
Founded in 1848 the congregation of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church first worshipped in the former Trinity Episcopal Church then located on 4th and Prairie (Highland Ave). Construction was started on the present Gothic Revival church in 1889, and it was dedicated on July 13th, 1890.
Designed by Herman Schnetzky and Eugene Liebert it is considered one of the best examples of Lutheran Church architecture in the United States. Constructed with Cream City brick, with extensive limestone and sheet-metal trim, St. John’s rests on a rusticated limestone foundation. The façade is distinguished by two towers that flank a gabled central section. The taller, 197’ east tower houses the clock and bells with the 147’ west tower containing an open belfry.
At its peak St. John’s had nearly 3000 members and was the home for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). The current St. John’s on the Hillside congregation carries on the church’s storied tradition.
3175 N. Teutonia Ave.
Founded by St. John’s Lutheran Church in 1851 as St. Johannes Cemetery it was renamed Union Cemetery when Trinity Lutheran, another north side church at 10th and Prairie (Highland), and Grace Lutheran, an east side church at Juneau and Broadway, joined them in 1865 to form a cemetery association. Prominent local families, Civil War veterans, and victims of the Lady Elgin disaster as well as everyday Milwaukee folks are buried there. The cemetery is distinguished by beautifully sculpted headstones and ornate mausoleums.
The original purchase was the south end between North Teutonia and Hopkins streets. The added acres extend from Teutonia to North Twentieth. When the cemetery was first established, Teutonia, then known as Cedarburg Road, was filled with mud and ruts at certain times of the year. Access to the cemetery could be challenging and it was not uncommon for caskets to be carried on foot some distance into the cemetery.
Nominate a County 2023 Landmark
The Milwaukee County Landmarks Committee welcomes public nominations of local properties to be considered for designation as County landmarks. Proposed sites must be located in Milwaukee County. Sites within the boundaries of the City of Milwaukee, which has its own landmark program, may be considered. Please submit by May 1st, 2023. Any submissions after 05/01/2023 will be considered in 2024.
A separate form needs to be completed for each nomination. Fill out the County Landmark Application here.
Designation as a Milwaukee County Landmark is intended to be primarily honorific and educational. Landmark status does not impose any restrictions upon the property or its owners.
Identification as a Milwaukee County Landmark does not confer any special protection on a structure, provide it with any financial or legal advantage, or, conversely, modify or limit the owner’s property rights. In all cases, notice of nomination of a site for landmark status is provided to the owner in advance of the public hearing, and in all cases the owner’s wishes with regard to designation are respected.
The primary purpose of designating a landmark is therefore educational: to provide the public with an informed list of buildings or sites of historic, architectural or cultural significance to the community. Only the moral force of public opinion – not anything in the law – can henceforth protect a landmark from demolition or serious alteration.
The Milwaukee County Historical Society is the designated secretary for the Milwaukee County Landmarks Committee.