Historic Water Tower District
About the Community
The Historic Water Tower neighborhood is on the east side of Milwaukee along Lake Michigan with E. Lafayette Place as its south border, Summit and Downer Aves as its west boundaries, and the Village of Shorewood (Edgewood Ave) to the north.
This vibrant neighborhood includes the largest group of historic homes in Wisconsin. More than 1,000 of the homes and condos are more than 75 years old, including more than 580 that are more than 100 years old. The majority of homes in this beautiful area of Milwaukee are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The neighborhood has been rated as one of the most walkable in Milwaukee. While mainly residential, this area includes the renowned and historic Downer Avenue retail district, which includes an independent bookstore, coffee shops, a movie theater, a grocery story, four wonderful restaurants, wine shop, optical boutique, and other businesses. The Historic Water Tower District also includes or borders the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital, Lake Park, the North Point Lighthouse, Bradford Beach, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum and the East North Avenue retail district.
The Historic Water Tower District is located on the last remaining Indian mound in Milwaukee and is the host of 5Ks and other runs such as the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run marathon. Other activities such as concerts, bird-watching, an annual Fourth of July parade, and other fun events take place in this neighborhood as well. The Historic Water Tower District covers much of Downer Avenue, which it shares with the neighborhood of Murray Hill. Together, the two wonderfully similar and wonderfully different pieces of Milwaukee make up one of the most hip streets in the city outside of the Third Ward. Downer Avenue has fun for the whole family--you can visit BelAir Cantina for some excellent Mexican food and Margaritas, or stop by Cafe Hollander for some high quality and well priced food, which is great for brunch!