Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Doors Open Milwaukee, 2014.

We got out for the 2014 "Doors Open Milwaukee" on Sunday the 21st. Our first target was the frank Lloyd Wright designed house off South 27th Street. Although we got there shortly after opening time, there was already a lengthy line and it was lightly raining, so we decided to give it a pass, and went on to Pevnick Design on North 27th.

Pevnick had a demonstration unit of the "Waterfall Machine" set up, this year with colored lights, which added quite a bit. They were running a portion of the program designed for this year's Toyota Dealer's Meeting, which is quite spectacular.

The great find of this year's tour for us was the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear, located at 839 North 11th Street, north of the Marquette University campus. This charming little museum occupies a house once owned by the late Avram Chudnow, and houses his "extensive and eclectic collection of early 20th Century Americana," much of which was acquired from family members and their various business interests. The collection is particularly rich in ephemera such as candy boxes, food containers and cans, and advertising materials. There are rooms set up as a grocery store, druggist's, barbershop, speakeasy, and doctor's office. Other rooms are dedicated to political history and advertising, and to the activities of the beer industry during prohibition.

From there, we walked over to the Wisconsin Club to view the Belvedere. This garden structure, built by Milwaukee magnate Alexander Mitchell to complement the mansion that became the Club, is a little jewel and well worth seeing. We also got to use it for the pre-banquet reception at our MythCon back in 1987, so there are good memories associated with it for us, as well.

Next, we went to the headquarters of the Milwaukee Ballet, at 5th and National. We got to see the rehearsal spaces, a peek into the Costume Shop, and a close up look at some of the costumes to be used in the upcoming production of "Don Quixote," as well as an informative talk on the Ballet's rehersal, training, and teaching programs.

Finally, we went to South Lenox Avenue to see Milwaukee Makerspace. The commercial building it occupies is nestled into this residential Bayview neighborhood, and is filled with material and equipment for every kind of project, from a hand-made wooden boat to a "molecular still." The idea of having all sorts of equipment from hammers and handsaws up to numerical control machines and 3-D printers fascinates me, but I don't really have projects in mind at present that would require it--. Still, fascinating, and we found in chatting to one of the members that we had a friend in common, engineer Tom Klein.

Doors Open Milwaukee is a fine event, and we hope it will continue in the future.

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