Milwaukee County Historical Society: Viewaukee Program hits Milwaukee to offer unique look into City’s historic past

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Historical Society today unveiled a new and innovative program called Viewaukee, presented by CG Schmidt. Viewaukee invites residents and visitors walking along the streets of Milwaukee to literally take a look into the past. Custom, five-foot tall street side binoculars, modified to show a historic photo of the same location they are placed, offer users an interesting and educational comparative view of Milwaukee today and from decades before.

In its inaugural year, Viewaukee will consist of 10 viewers that are free for the public to enjoy and that are permanently installed in popular city tourist locations. A website (www.viewaukee.com) for the project also includes educational resources, including the history of each location, additional photographs, corresponding curriculums for use by parents and teachers and more. Additional viewers as well as themed viewing routes are planned for the future.

CG Schmidt is partnering with the Historical Society to bring this gift to the community in celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary of helping build many of Milwaukee’s most iconic structures. Five of the locations feature views of projects that CG Schmidt, the Presenting Sponsor of the program, has built.

“For more than a century, CG Schmidt has been proud to be the trusted building partner on projects that have literally shaped the Milwaukee skyline,” said CG Schmidt President & CEO Rick Schmidt. “As we reflect on 100 years in this community, we are thrilled to be a part of this project that offers a look back in time to our city’s architecture and landscape history. The Viewaukee project provides an engaging educational experience for residents and visitors alike, and reflects our optimism for Milwaukee’s continued development and growth and our excitement to play a key part in it.”

The Milwaukee County Historical Society’s mission of preserving and sharing Milwaukee’s history has blossomed and, in addition to their research library, museum and historic sites, the Society continues to increase programming throughout the community.

“Programs like Viewaukee allow the Society to meet people where they are and to help them explore the past, especially as it relates to their life and experiences today,” said Mame McCully, executive director of the Milwaukee County Historical Society. “The plan is to grow this interactive and innovative approach to sharing history by adding a variety of locations over the coming years.”

The photographs used in Viewaukee viewers are from the Society’s collection of more than one million photos related to Milwaukee history. To find the viewers and for more information on the program, visit www.Viewaukee.com.

The following are the 2020 viewer locations. The first viewer was installed and unveiled today during a ceremony at the Milwaukee War Memorial. The remaining viewers will be installed in the coming days.

Viewaukee Locations:

  • Milwaukee War Memorial, 750 N Lincoln Memorial Dr, Milwaukee – sponsored by CG Schmidt
  • Summerfest North End, E Clybourn St – sponsored by CG Schmidt 
  • Milwaukee Public Market Pocket Park (park to the west of Public Market), 407 N Water Street, Milwaukee – sponsored by CG Schmidt
  • Milwaukee Riverwalk at the Marcus Center, 929 N Water St, Milwaukee – sponsored by CG Schmidt
  • North Point Water Tower, 2288 N Lake Dr, Milwaukee – sponsored by CG Schmidt
  • Miller Valley at the Historic Caves, 4251 W State St, Milwaukee – sponsored by MillerCoors
  • The Milwaukee River, Wisconsin Ave Bridge & Riverwalk – sponsored by Wisconsin Preservation Fund
  • 16th Street Bridge, Corner of 16th St and Clybourn St, Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee City Hall, South of City Hall on Water St, Milwaukee
  • Brady Street, 1240 N Brady St, Milwaukee

Viewaukee is made possible through community support and sponsorships through the Historical Society. For questions or more information on Viewaukee, contact Mame McCully at [email protected] or 414.403.4344.