Though I usually use about 414 words spattered with 3-6 pictures, this week I’m using photos rather than words to demonstrate the grandeur and impressive scope of the oft-overlooked Central branch of the Milwaukee Public Library system on Wisconsin Avenue.

The dome is a beauty, both from outside and from below in the main entrance rotunda.

The dome is a beauty, both from outside and from below in the main entrance rotunda.

The entrance space is ornately designed and decorated. It's an imposing dedication to the written word.

The entrance space is ornately designed and decorated. It’s an imposing dedication to the written word.

The side stairs may now lead to offices but that doesn't diminish their grandeur.

The side stairs may now lead to offices but that doesn’t diminish their grandeur.

Many of the fixtures and much of the paint in this section of the library is original to the 1898 building.

Many of the fixtures and much of the paint in this section of the library is original to the 1898 building.

Each Saturday at 11AM a docent gives an informative tour of the entire library. Find out more here.

Each Saturday at 11AM a docent gives an informative tour of the entire library. Find out more here.

The beautifully-preserved Board Room was also used in the TV movie Dillinger.

The beautifully-preserved Board Room was also used in the TV movie Dillinger.

There actually was a live lion living on the top floor for a period of time. He's now stuffed and on display at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

There actually was a live lion living on the top floor for a period of time. He’s now stuffed and on display at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

Even some of the newer portions of the library were remodeled to mimic the opulence of the original design.

Even some of the newer portions of the library were remodeled to mimic the opulence of the original design.

The first floor features plenty of media and general resources.

The first floor features plenty of media and general resources.

A whole wing of the first floor is dedicated to a boisterous but welcoming children's library: the Betty Brinn Children's Room.

A whole wing of the first floor is dedicated to a boisterous but welcoming children’s library: the Betty Brinn Children’s Room.

One of the more unexpected resources was the Art, Music, and Recreation Room. Here you can research any form of media, from albums to art to sheet music.

One of the more unexpected resources was the Art, Music, and Recreation Room. Here you can research any form of media, from albums to art to sheet music.

The Business, Science, and Technology area is huge, offering help with anything from job preparedness to patent searches to workshops.

The Business, Science, and Technology area is huge, offering help with anything from job preparedness to patent searches to workshops.

Another hidden gem, the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room is a great place to find out more about ships that sailed the Great Lakes or start tracing back your family tree.

Another hidden gem, the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room is a great place to find out more about the ships that sailed the Great Lakes or to start tracing back your family tree.

Though generally off-limits without prior approvals, the Krug Rare Books Room is a Milwaukee-treasure not known by many to exist. Make sure to wear gloves while handling the delicate pages (just kidding, there's no way they're letting you touch anything).

Though generally off-limits without prior approvals, the Krug Rare Books Room is a Milwaukee-treasure not known by many to exist. Make sure to wear gloves while handling the delicate pages (just kidding, there’s no way they’re letting you touch anything).

Local art that wouldn't be out of place at the Milwaukee Art Museum adorns many of the walls.

Local art that wouldn’t be out of place at the Milwaukee Art Museum adorns many of the walls.

They even have racks on racks of your typical recreational literature.

They even have racks on racks of your typical recreational literature and DVDs.

The fine architectural details and the sheer scope of resources the Library offers makes it easy to spend hours inside without noticing.

The fine architectural details and the sheer scope of resources the Library offers makes it easy to spend hours inside without noticing.

Milwaukee Central Public Library (19) sd

And to think, this somewhat imposing local monument is completely filled with people and resources meant to help our general populace…for free!

For being a shrine to the words of man, the Milwaukee Central Library left me speechless (*drop literary mic*).

 

One thought on “Be a Local Tourist: Milwaukee Central Library

  1. Hey Joe,
    I have been in this building hundreds of times but now can’t wait for my next visit. Thanks to your investigation I will have a much greater appreciation of where I am.

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