Monday, May 28, 2007

May 28 -- Milwaukee

It was a sad day for Milwaukee Brewer's fans as they lost to the Braves 2-1. It was a great day for us, since we saw some new sites, enjoyed some beautiful weather and ate some wonderful food.

We started our day by stopping at Miller Park where they were preparing for the Brewer's game. The guard at the gate was very nice and let us park in the employees' parking lot and walk around the outside of the stadium. It gave us a great view of the inside with the roof open. After that we drove to the River Walk in downtown Milwaukee. A lot of the walk is being renovated and was closed, so our walk was short. We did walk around the part of Milwaukee referred to as the "Old World." The Old World was primarily Germany, so we were in our glory. Unfortunately, the two main stores we wanted to visit were closed. One was the Cheese Mart and the other was Usingers with its 70 varieties of sausage.

We then went to the Pabst Mansion for a tour. Like many of the old mansions, the original owners lived in them only a short period of time. The mansion was built in 1902 and Cpt. Pabst died in 1904 and Mrs. Pabst died in 1906. Their heirs sold the mansion to the Catholic Archdiocese in 1908 and it was lived in by the Archbishops for 67 years. They painted the fabulous wood paneled walls and did other devastating things to the house that almost ruined it. They even painted over some of the murals in the house. In 1975, the Holiday Inn next door bought the property with plans to tear it down and make a parking lot. In the meantime the Milwaukee Preservation Society raised enough money to save it from the wrecking ball and in the past 31 years they have worked to restore the interior to its original grandeur. The house cost $250,000 to build in 1902 (that's $10 million in today's dollars) and the ceiling in just one of the bedrooms cost $230,000 to restore. We estimate that they are about 70% complete with their restoration, so we saw a lot of it completed. We had planned on seeing 2 other mansions, but discovered they were both closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. So, now we have something to come back to see. We did get a view of one of the other mansion's gardens from the road and they were very impressive. By the way, if you drink a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer today, it is brewed by Miller in Chicago.

After our tour, we returned to the Old World part of Milwaukee to have lunch at the best German restaurant we have eaten in since leaving Germany. It has been in business since 1902 and with the same family. It's called Mader's after the family. The decor was outstanding and the food was near perfect. We had no idea and just lucked out. The hallway to the restrooms is lined with photos of famous people who have eaten there and with letters of "thank you" to the family. We were certainly in good company.

We then went to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Their new Quadracci Pavilion, the first Santiago Calatrava-designed building in the United States, features a 90-foot high glass-walled reception hall enclosed by the Burke Brise Soleil, a sunscreen that can be raised or lowered creating a unique moving sculpture. From the outside, it appeared to be a ship with wings.
After viewing all the wonderful art, we went out to see the ending of the Memorial Day Parade. They then had a member of each service--including the Coast Guard, Jeanine--lay a wreath in the water of the reflecting pool at the Milwaukee County War Memorial built above the Art Museum.

We then decided it would be a good idea to find the Ferry we are taking tomorrow for Michigan. It was not as easy as we thought, since the highways are so torn up. But we did find it and made reservations for the 6:00 am sailing. That means we'll be getting up around 4:00 am to get there on time. On time is 5:15 am--not 6:00 am. When we arrive in Muskegon, MI, around 9:30 am, we'll be back in Eastern Daylight Time.

1 comment:

Jenn K said...

It's so sad to hear about those mansions becoming run down and destroyed from lack of money. It reminds me of Rosecliff in Newport. It's nice that the preservation society was able to save it.

Hope you're not too tired today from getting up so early--well, I hope DAD isn't too tired--I know how mom's an early bird.

Also, we put some new pictures of the nursery up on our blog. We are almost finished!