This is a detailed map of Milwaukee in 1852 taken from the Harvard map collection.


When you look at the early maps of Milwaukee, you see a simple grid pattern. It started with this pattern because the city is not historically old by any means. It was incorporated in 1846 with the joining of three separate cities. So as you can see by this time the grid pattern had already evolved in other modern cities so the founders of Milwaukee wanted to replicate the success of other large US cities. Also, you see very few squares, and they are small too. That is probably because the city at this time was made of mostly poor immigrants from German descent and not many wealthy merchants. You also can notice that the location of the city is located along a river and along lake Michigan. This would have helped to move supplies down to south to Chicago or to other parts of the great lakes region allowing for better trade routes. This could be a main factor as to why the city was able to grow fast and modernize.


1920’s Milwaukee


By the 1920’s Milwaukee had expanded and as you can see, it kept its grid pattern but also added larger avenues and more parks. As more people came into the city, there was more money in the city and therefore the city had more rich people. These people would have congregated in these parks or in the shops along the avenue to talk about business ventures and the fur trade.



Lapham, Increase Allen. “Image Delivery Service.” Image Delivery Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.

“Milwaukee 1920’s Map.” Boerke. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2016.