How to get inside history

Posted in: Cultural Resources

Stunning interior of the Milwaukee City Hall

Ever wonder what a historic building looks like inside? I think we all have. The chances of your wish coming true are better than ever. A trend in recent years for many cities and local preservation organizations is to sponsor a day or entire weekend where buildings throughout a city are opened for free tours.

A review of these free tours in several cities finds the variety of buildings is amazing ranging from historic theaters, schools and churches to stadiums and wastewater treatment facilities. My wish came true last fall, when I took advantage of this opportunity in Milwaukee and visited the 1895 City Hall where you could climb up the iconic bell tower and tour an operator’s house on a movable bridge.

Many of these events take place annually in the fall, however, a Doors Open event is scheduled in Denver next month. Here is a sampling of events you may wish to attend. There may be other similar events coming to your area.

These events are one more way to learn about and celebrate historic resources on the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Thanks to the this Act, many of these historic places survive.

Christina Slattery

About the Author

Christina Slattery specializes in historic preservation of transportation and engineering structures. She evaluates the significance of properties ranging from missile defense systems to road corridors, and develops creative mitigation strategies for projects.

Read more posts by Christina Slattery

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