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Design-Inspired Destinations
Five Arts Communities beyond Milwaukee County's Borders

By STEPHANIE S. BEECHER
Photos by  HGA Architects

July 2016

With such a strong and thriving arts community right here in Milwaukee, itís easy to forget that our neighbors are pretty creative too. Whether youíre an art aficionado, a lover of history and architecture, or simply a queen on a quest for your next Pinterest project, a unique art experience awaits you. Here are five design-inspired destinations just a short drive from Cream City.

Kohler Design Center

If youíre a fan of home remodeling shows, the Kohler Design Center is a dream come true. Formerly a recreation hall for Kohler residents, the 36,000-square-foot design center features three levels of kitchen and bath product innovation. The main floor includes an array of products from the Kohler family; the mezzanine serves as a design gallery; and the lower floor is dedicated to Kohlerís long, storied history in American industry. Thereís also a water deck and a "Great Wall of China" displaying plumbing fixtures fit for every style. Tours of Kohlerís Design Center and foundry are led by retired Kohler associates 362 days a year. So whatís so appealing about visiting a plumbing manufacturer? "Weíve stayed on the leading edge of design and innovation," says Michael Smith, Kohler Design Center manager. "I think thatís why people are so intrigued." 101 Upper Road, Kohler, (920) 457-3699

Museum of Wisconsin Art

As one of the top regional art museums in the country, the Museum of Wisconsin Art is definitely a must-see. Located in downtown West Bend, the museum reopened in 2013, doubling its exhibition space and giving visitors a rich look into the stateís remarkable art portfolio. The contemporary building houses nearly 5,000 works of art by more than 350 artists, spanning traditional oil paintings to modern installations and digital mixed media. 205 Veterans Ave., West Bend, (262) 334-9638

Maxwell Street Days

Wisconsinites love a good rummage sale, and Maxwell Street Days, held just outside historic downtown Cedarburg, is the ultimate deal. Hosted by the Cedarburg Fire Department four times a year, this flea market tradition began more than 50 years ago as a way to raise money for the cityís volunteer squad. In addition to the customary beer and brat fare, the event features more than 700 vendors selling their wares. Itís a great place to find everything from art and antiques, to furniture and handmade crafts, to collectible items and architectural items, and anything in between. The remaining Maxwell Street Days will be held on Sundays, July 17, Sept. 4 and Oct. 2, this year. No admission fee is required. W65 N796 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, (262) 377-8412

Black Pointe Estate & Gardens

Home to Chicago beer baron Conrad Seipp, Black Point Estate & Gardens was the familyís summer retreat for four generations. Designed by architect Adolph Cudell and built in 1888, the 20-room Queen Anne "cottage" was donated as a historic site by Seippís great-grandson in 2005. Two years later, the home underwent a $1.9 million restoration and opened for tours. In addition to breathtaking views of Geneva Lake, the home features beautiful seasonal gardens and one of the most intact Victorian interiors. In fact, Fodorís Travel named Black Pointe one of the top 10 best home-estate tours in the U.S. The home, now under the hands of the Wisconsin Historical Society, is reachable by boat only, further immersing visitors in the tourís "bygone" feel. W4270 Southland Road, Lake Geneva, (262) 248-6206

Taliesin Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center

If ever there was an example of Frank Lloyd Wrightís style, itís his primary residence in Spring Green. The famed architect lived at the housing complex ó shaped in his signature Prairie style ó for 48 years, from 1911 to 1959. Wright used the estate as his personal "laboratory for architectural designs and innovation," according to Taliesin Preservation, which aids its preservation in conjunction with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The 800-acre architectural campus includes seven buildings designed by Wright, all available for tour. "(Wright) worked on ideas and concepts here, and then took them in the field," says Aron Meudt-Thering, Taliesinís development events and communications coordinator. "Thereís something here from every decade of his career." 5607 County Road C, Spring Green, (608) 588-7900 m

 





 

This story ran in the July 2016 issue of: