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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

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Readers Blog: BrewCityBlog

Doors Open~

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Please excuse the lack of blog the past few days. I had fallen a little ill, but that didn't stop me from having a great Milwaukee experience. Doors Open Milwaukee or DOMKE was enlightening, inspiring and well worth braving the rainy day. The whole Guru clan went out on Saturday to several great places. The plan was to see ten, but due to the popularity of the event we could not live up to our ambitiousness. I do wish I had both days available, and will plan to next year, for sure.

Our first stop was The Best Place at the historic Pabst brewery who opened an unrenovated section of the building not normally accessible to the public. This section included Captain Frederick Pabst's office and the Boardroom of Pabst Brewing Company in the 1890s. What I did not expect was the obviously fun loving owner of the building to launch into a tour/history lesson. It was a unique glimpse of Milwaukee history as it related specifically to that building. You couldn't help but feel more connected to what made Milwaukee great.

This was the case at two other places we went that day; The Pfister and Milwaukee Public Library's central library. Both had tours that were as much a history lesson as they were a special access thrill. Going up through a late 19th century ceiling into the rotunda of the library, no really IN to the rotunda where the museum had stored things. The museum was also in that building when it opened in 1898. We learned about the process that brought about the building's construction, and saw how they change the light bulbs in the rotunda. There was even a lion that lived in the building.

The Pfister tour was a little crowded but our guide handled it well. I thought I knew about The Pfister, I was wrong. The history of Milwaukee's Grand Hotel puts this city in special company with the likes of The Waldorf Astoria of New York and The Brown Palace of Denver. Among all that history and elegance there is a great night club with a great view on the 23rd floor, Blu, and an amazing restaurant, The Mason Street Grill attached.

The Pfister did not have the best view of the day. That thrill, of course, belongs to Wisconsin's tallest building, The US Bank Building. There were no knowledgeable tour guides, or amazing structural points of interest. Seeing Milwaukee from 41 floors in the air is all this stop needed to pack ‘em in. The Guru clan waited about 25 minutes total in lines for the elevator and the entrance line was at least twice as long when we left.

I do hope to experience much more the next time this event comes around. This would be a great event to coordinate with the downtown street car to make parking less of a chore. And maybe some places could have valet specials, $16 didn't seem very open door Pfister...

 

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