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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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1327 E. Kane Pl. (S. Mikos photo, 2002)

1842 N. Warren Ave. (S. Mikos photo, 2002)

1800, 1768 N. Warren Ave. (S. Mikos photo, 2002)

1874 N. Warren Ave. (S. Mikos photo, 2002)

East Village Historic District
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

The East Village Historic District is a working class residential neighborhood on Milwaukee's near east side. The neighborhood adjoins the East Brady Street Historic District, a commercial area that includes St. Hedwig's Church -- the spiritual and community center for the original Polish inhabitants of the East Village.

The East Village Historic District preserves the character of a late nineteenth century urban "village." Housing styles consist mainly of modest wood frame structures, including workers' cottages, "Polish flats," single-family houses, and duplexes. There is also a handful of brick buildings, interspersed with a scattering of commercial buildings, all densely packed into an approximately four-block area with an irregular street pattern.

The buildings reflect economic strategies employed by Polish immigrants to achieve their cherished goal of home ownership. Many of the houses were built incrementally, beginning as modest cottages and later expanded. "Rear houses" were also prevalent, with some lots containing two or three small houses in the backyard of the street-facing house. The most distinctive house type in the East Village Historic District is the raised basement structure commonly known as a "Polish flat." The Polish flat usually began as a workers' cottage that was jacked up and set atop a high masonry basement, which served as additional living quarters.

The buildings that make up the East Village are reminders of the once-vibrant Polish community that inhabited them. The neighborhood's story is written in its irregular street pattern and the density of its development. Narrow lots supporting two or even three dwellings, taverns and small businesses interspersed amongst the modest dwellings create a distinctive character that sets this neighborhood apart from other Milwaukee ethnic neighborhoods.

The buildings in this district are privately owned. Please respect the privacy of the residents.


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