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  • Milwaukee Public MuseumMilwaukee Public Museum Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    The Milwaukee Public Museum opened in 1884 and is one of the finest natural and human history museums in the country. It contains three floors of displays and the first IMAX theater in the state. The museum was 1 of 6 main American museums that were started in the latter part of the 19th century, and though it was chartered in 1882, it had its beginnings in 1852 with the German-English Academy. The academy's principal, Peter Engelman inspired his students to take field trips, which resulted in numerous specimens being collected, like geological, organic and archaeological in scoop, which ended up in the academy. Sometime later, alumni and other people began donating different kinds of specimens of ethnological and historical importance to the collection. Interest in the marvelous collection had grown to such excellent extents, by 1857, that Peter decided to organize a natural history society to take care of and increase the collection. After a while, the collection began to be considered "the Museum", and it grew to be to big for the academy's size to contain it. August Stirn, city alderman and part of the society, managed to get legislation from the state to have the city accept the collection and start the procedures to start a free public museum. Carl Doerflinger was the first director and the collection was moved into rented spaces in 1884. Carl placed much emphasis on using the exhibits for research and study, besides public education, until he resigned in 1888; but not before urging the city to buy land to build a permanent structure to house the museum and the public library; which was done and finished in 1898. Carl Akeley, biologist and taxidermist, considered to be the father of modern taxidermy, completed the first habitat diorama in the world, which showed a muskrat colony. In 1902, Henry L. Ward, the fourth director in that year, started a history museum to go along with the natural sciences museum. A new building was finished in 1962, and the collection moved there in 1966. The museum houses both permanent and rotating exhibits, with the first being the Streets of Old Milwaukee that opened in 1965 and has become one of the most favorite, getting many millions of visitors since opening.  Today, the museum has 17 permanent exhibits that include; Africa, Arctic, Asia, Pacific Islands, Rain Forest, A Sense of Wonder, Bugs Alive!, Living Oceans, South & Middle America, European Village, the Puelicher Butterfly, Exploring Life on Earth, Pre-Columbian Americas, North American Indians, the Third Planet, Streets of Old Milwaukee and Temples, Tells & Tombs. The museum hosts special traveling exhibitions that can be seen only for limited times; with the most famous and popular in recent years, Saint Peter and the Vatican: Legacy of the Popes, a fantastic exhibition that only made three stops in this country and the last one was at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Collections and research include; a 14,500 year old woolly mammoth skeleton that was given the museum with the bones being so brittle and fragile that is used for research only and the skeleton on display is a fiberglass copy; the anthropology department that houses about 120,000 relics, vertebrate zoology, the conservation department, the botany department that has a greenhouse on the museum's roof and a herbarium collection of more than 5000 specimens, the geology department with a huge number of minerals and fossils, a photograph collection that contains 6000 images of the Sumner W. Matteson Collection along with 8000 of the Brandon DeCou collection and photographs of Wisconsin native Americans that were taken by the staff, the registration department that inventories the collections, the reference library with more than 100,000 volumes of natural history information and the historical and cultural artifacts that include the Dietz typewriter and Nunnemacher arms collection. 

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  • Pabst MansionPabst Mansion Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    The Pabst Mansion is found in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that was the home of Captain Frederick Pabst, founder of the Pabst Brewing Company. Pabst commissioned Milwaukee architect, George Bowman Ferry to design the mansion in a Flemish renaissance revival, which was completed in 1892. The Pabst family lived there until 1908, whereupon the archdiocese of Milwaukee purchased it and for the next 67 years, five archbishops and many priests and sisters lived there. In 1975, the archdiocese put the beautiful estate up for sale, hoping that some historic preservation group would buy it and refurbish it to its former glory. Wisconsin Heritages, Inc. stepped up in 1978 and purchased it, and opened it to the public in May of that same year. Up to that point, the mansion was going to be demolished to make room for a parking garage; and in 1998, the mansion was renamed the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion, Inc. Captain Pabst was a real estate developer, patron of the arts, philanthropist and excellent sea captain besides being the world famous beer magnate, and the home he had built was considered the jewel of the city, amongst the many mansions that were built along Grand Avenue and soon became the epitome of the nation's gilded age splendor in Milwaukee. The mansion exudes his love of life, success, and strong German heritage with elaborate and elegant interiors, superb original furnishings, spectacular wall coverings, the most exquisite wood workmanship, marvelous ironworks, brilliant stained glass and very valuable rare art; all that added to the Pabst Decade in Milwaukee during the 1890s.

January 11, 2011