7 Fun Facts About Milwaukee, WI: How Well Do You Know Your City?


Milwaukee, WI, is more than just a city known for its breweries and cheese. With its rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and thriving arts scene, Milwaukee offers a unique lifestyle for its residents. From the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum to the bustling Riverwalk, there’s always something new to explore in this city. In this Redfin article, we’ll uncover some interesting facts of Milwaukee, diving into its eclectic charm that make it a destination worth discovering.

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Quick Facts about Milwaukee

Median home sale price $219,900
Average monthly rent $1,090
Walk Score 62/100
Transit Score 49/100
Bike Score 58/100

1. The typewriter was invented in Milwaukee

Christopher Latham Sholes, alongside his colleagues Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soule, developed the prototype of the modern typewriter in Milwaukee during the 1860s. With its origins rooted in the heart of the Midwest, the typewriter’s impact rippled across the globe, shaping the way we write.

2. Home to the largest music festival in the nation

Milwaukee hosts the largest festival in the nation, Summerfest, drawing millions annually. This event spans 11 days and features over 800 acts across 12 stages, showcasing diverse musical genres from rock to hip-hop. With headliners like Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars, and The Rolling Stones, Summerfest cements Milwaukee’s status as a premier destination for music lovers nationwide.

3. Carmex lip balm was created in Milwaukee

Back in the 1930s, a simple kitchen became the birthplace of something extraordinary: Carmex lip balm. It was Alfred Woelbing’s ingenious concoction, brewed with care to help his dry lips. This creation has sparked a global sensation, and is widely known.

4. The nickname “Cream City” refers to the color of the city’s bricks

Milwaukee earns the nickname “Cream City,” not for its dairy production, but for the distinctive cream-colored bricks that adorn its buildings. These bricks, crafted from clay abundant in the region, lend a warm and timeless aesthetic to the cityscape, preserving its unique architectural heritage.

5. The Lake Park was designed by the same landscape architect of Central Park

Milwaukee’s enchanting Lake Park was masterfully crafted by the same landscape architect behind New York City’s iconic Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted. Designed in the late 19th century, Olmsted’s vision transformed the city’s shoreline into a picturesque oasis, complete with winding paths, lush greenery, and stunning lake views.

6. Holler House has the oldest sanctioned bowling alley in the U.S.

Since 1908, Holler House has beckoned bowlers to its quaint two-lane alley, embodying its sporting heritage. As the oldest sanctioned bowling alley in the U.S., stepping into Holler House is a journey through time, evoking a nostalgic celebration of bowling’s enduring charm.

7. There’s a small lake under the city

Milwaukee’s Downtown hides a quirky fun fact beneath its bustling streets: Lake Emily, once visible on old maps. Rather than drain it, the Northwestern Mutual building was built atop it, supported by ancient log pilings. Today, glimpses of Lake Emily are limited to small holes for water level checks, preserving this unusual piece of urban history.

 

MethodologyThe median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.



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