Inhabiting the niche between the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan is the Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee's oldest center of commerce and warehousing. The area's architectural splendor is evident in the many original brick buildings that were built in the wake of the Great Third Ward Fire of 1892.
The last few decades has seen a rebirth of the Third Ward as the neighborhood has evolved into one of the city's most vibrant areas. The Third Ward is home to the Milwaukee Public Market, Broadway Theatre Center, and Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, art galleries, restaurants, shops, and more.
The Historic Third Ward also includes the Henry W. Maier Festival Park, home of Summerfest and several of Milwaukee's wonderful ethnic festivals, as well as the Italian Community Center. The extension of the RiverWalk from downtown provides a excellent opportunity to explore the city. With the influx of thousands of new residents, the Third Ward has an energy all its own with bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks.
The Hank Aaron State Trail travels through the heart of the Third Ward, with trailheads at either end of Henry W. Maier Festival Park, connecting with the Milwaukee County Oak Leaf Trail to the north, and Lakeshore State Park to the south. The southern portion of the marked Trail follows the Milwaukee River along E. Erie Street until crossing the bridge at Young Street, where it joins with the northern branch of the Trail coming from Chicago and Milwaukee Streets. The wide sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly streets make venturing off the marked Trail easy, with access to all that the Third Ward has to offer.
Learn more about the history of the Third Ward, arts, theatre, dining, tours and other events.