Bay View, Milwaukee

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Bay View Historic District
Beulah Brinton House.jpg
Home of Beulah Brinton, an early community figure
Bay View, Milwaukee is located in Wisconsin
Bay View, Milwaukee
Bay View, Milwaukee is located in the US
Bay View, Milwaukee
LocationMilwaukee, Wisconsin
Architectural styleBungalow/Craftsman, Late Victorian
NRHP reference #82000686[1]
Added to NRHP23 August 1982
(36 years ago)

Bay View is a neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, North America on the shores of Lake Michigan, south of the downtown area and north of the City of St. Francis. Bay View existed as an independent village for seven years, from 1879 to 1886.[citation needed]

Historic settlement[edit]

The original Village of Bay View is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Bay View Historic District. According to the designation, it is bounded by Lake Michigan to the east, and roughly from Meredith Street to Superior, up to Nock Street and then from Wentworth Avenue to Pryor Avenue.[citation needed]

The first permanent European settlement of the Bay View area was in 1834. Horace Chase, future Milwaukee mayor, is credited as the first permanent settler.[2]

In 1855, the Green Bay, Milwaukee and Chicago Rail Road established its first Milwaukee-area depot in Bay View. The community was named for their scenic views upon the lake.[3]

A company town[edit]

The rolling mills at Bay View (1882).

In 1868, the Milwaukee Iron Company opened a plant in the area, and Bay View was established as a company town. By 1879, Bay View had a population of 2,592, and incorporated as a village, on approx 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2; 360 ha) of land.[citation needed]

By 1886, Bay View had become a center of workers' rights activism, the culmination of which was the Bay View Massacre.[citation needed]

Milwaukee neighborhood[edit]

In 1887, the village's approximately 4,000 residents voted overwhelmingly to be annexed to the city of Milwaukee, becoming the city's 17th ward and ending the community's independent status. Bay View was annexed because of the "Fernwood Model", where the neighborhood received many incentives from the city of Milwaukee such as sewers, sidewalks, street lights, and other public necessities.[4] The residents of Bay View viewed the annexation of Milwaukee as a way to improve their lives and community. Thenceforth, the village has been a Milwaukee neighborhood.[citation needed]

Although the neighborhood boundaries of Bay View have grown over the years as more and more people identify with it, the specific boundaries given by the Milwaukee Neighborhood Identification Project are: along the border of Lake Michigan; south of Jones Island; from Lincoln Avenue to the north; and Howell Avenue to the west, south to Morgan Avenue. Many residents consider both Fernwood and portions of Tippecanoe neighborhoods to be parts of Bay View. Some sources list the southern boundary as Howard Avenue. The Bay View Historical Society includes the areas as far west as 6th Street, and north to Becher Street, although they admit that this is debated:

One thing most Bay Viewites will agree upon is that Bay View is not necessarily defined by precise boundaries; it is more a state of mind influenced by both Lake Michigan ("the lake") and a long history of a strong sense of community.[5]


Within Bay View's borders is South Shore Park, part of the Milwaukee County Park System. South Shore Park features the Oak Leaf Trail, a softball diamond, horseshoe and volleyball courts, and a pavilion overlooking the swimming beach and the marina at the South Shore Yacht Club.[citation needed]

Humboldt Park, one of the first parks in the city, opened in 1891 and features fishing, softball, tennis, a band shell, and ice skating and hockey on the lagoons during Winter. Humboldt park also hosts a music series in the summer called Chill on the Hill on Tuesday nights.[citation needed]

The Beulah Brinton Community Center offers a variety of youth, adult, and senior activities including volleyball, aerobics, yoga, toddler play groups, and senior lunch programs.[citation needed]

Bay View has a history of local art which has blossomed with what many consider a renaissance of the community.[citation needed] Many bars and venues host a rotating display of locally produced art, and several galleries have cropped up along the Kinnickinnic Avenue which runs through the area. Bay View has long been a destination for popular musical acts both local and from around the country.[citation needed] Venues such as The Alchemist Theatre feature a variety of both live and stage performances, as well as a rotating selection of paintings and photography.[citation needed]

Community organizations[edit]

Some of Bay View's community organizations include the Bay View Lions Club, the Bay View Historical Society, Bay View Neighborhood Association, Bay View Garden and Yard Society, Bay View Social, Bay View Arts Guild, Humboldt Park Watch, and the Bay View High School Alumni Association.[citation needed]


Milwaukee Public Schools operates area public schools. Grade schools included:

  • Milwaukee Parkside School of the Arts (K-8)
    • Parkside School for the Arts was formed by a 2013 merger of Dover Street Elementary in Bay View and Tippecanoe School for the Arts & Humanities, a K-8 school in Town of Lake[6]

Bay View High School is the area zoned high school. In 2010, only 86 students at Bay View High lived in the school's attendance zone, making up 7.5% of the school's students. Many area parents avoided the school due to substandard graduation rates and test scores. By 2011 there was a movement from area parents to revive the school's reputation by creating a university preparatory track.[7]

Dover Street School, west of Humboldt Park, is now vacant. In 2013 MPS suggested converting it into residences for teachers.[8]

History of schools[edit]

In 1883, the first school in Bay View opened. Around 1889 that school closed and New Seventeenth District School opened in its place; it received three additional classrooms in 1893. The school was later renamed Dover Street School. The classes of Dover Street and Tippecanoe School for the Arts & Humanities, which opened in 1929, moved into the former Fritsche Middle School. The MPS board approved the proposed consolidation of the two schools in 2012, and the two schools were consolidated in 2013.[6]

The community was previously served by Fritsche Middle School, which in 2010 was consolidated into Bay View High School.[7]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Bay View Historical Society-Yesterday Archived April 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 42.
  4. ^ Gurda, John (1979). Bay View, Wis. : Milwaukee. Milwaukee, WI.: Milwaukee Humanities Program. p. 33. OCLC 6305429.
  5. ^ "Bay View Today". Bay View Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2010-05-08. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  6. ^ a b "About". Milwaukee Parkside School of the Arts. Retrieved on January 1, 2017 from
  7. ^ a b Richards, Erin. "Neighbors seek to revive Bay View High School". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  8. ^ Collins, Monique (October 4, 2013). "Plan would turn MPS' Dover School into housing for teachers". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved January 1, 2017.


External links[edit]