The Mitchell Street Branch Library: A Milwaukee Marvel Revived

If you’re looking for a fun and free outing with your kids that combines Milwaukee history with modern spaces, check out the Mitchell Street Branch Library.

Photo from hga.com

This spot isn’t just about books; it’s a vibrant community hub and a testament to how spaces can evolve and still remain at the heart of a community.

A Little Background

Built in 1919, this building has seen a lot of life.

It started as the iconic Hills Department Store and has transitioned through time to become the largest branch of the Milwaukee Public Libraries following a major renovation in 2017.

Photo from hga.com

Now, it’s even on the National Register of Historic Places!

Walk through the front entrance and you’re greeted by impressive terrazzo floors, ornate railings and massive decorative columns. Feels like stepping into history, right?

More Than Just Books

Spread across 23,000 square feet and three floors, this library goes above and beyond.

Got a project in mind? Dive into the high-tech maker space, complete with a 3D printer, mixing booth, and recording studio.

Photo from hga.com

Love cooking? Check out the kitchen.

There’s even an outdoor program space with raised gardens.

Photo from hga.com

Art lovers, there’s something for you too! The library features a sculpture and mural by Erick Ledesma, the inaugural artist-in-residence. It’s a beautiful homage to the community’s spirit and creativity.

For those who prefer the digital realm, laptops are available for checkout, and yes, there’s high-speed internet and free Wi-Fi.

And for our little readers (and the young at heart), there’s a vast children’s collection, complete with puppets, and bilingual (English/Spanish) programming for all ages.

The Coziest Spot

My favorite part? The cozy reading area with a fireplace. It’s the perfect nook to curl up with a good book and escape into another world for a while.

A Hub for the Community

With weekly programming for all ages, modern community rooms, and study areas, this library is a place where knowledge and community intertwine.

The flexible open spaces, surrounded by expansive windows, fill the library with natural light, making it a welcoming space for everyone.

Above the library, the building breathes new life with three floors of living space – the first new market-rate apartments in the area for decades.

The Mitchell Street Branch has become a cornerstone for Milwaukee’s Latino community, offering a rich array of bilingual programs, an extensive Spanish reading collection, artist events, and even a wrestling match.

So, whether you’re a bookworm, a history buff, a tech enthusiast, or just looking for a warm place to read by the fire, the Mitchell Street Branch Library has something for everyone.

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