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Ward Memorial Hall | by OneEyedJax
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Ward Memorial Hall

This is another building on the VA grounds that i didn't know was there. I found out that it was built in 1881 and was one of the first theaters in Wisconsin. It was named after Horatio Ward, an American banker who created the endowment fund to build the hall. It was designed by Architect, Henry Koch, who also designed other Milwaukee landmarks such as The Pfister Hotel, City Hall, and Turner Hall - all in the mid- to late-1800's! For eight decades, it was a popular stop for minstrel shows, vaudeville, variety acts and drama, including acts like Will Rogers, Bob Hope, George Jessel, Burns and Allen, Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, Nat King Cole, and Liberace. It has served as a theater, a place of worship, and housed an amusement hall, restaurant, home store, and post office. There is also supposed to be a large stained-glass equestrian portrait of General Ulysses S. Grant on the east side of the Theatre that was added in 1887. You can see kind of see where that's located on the right in the picture ... so another fascinating find ... definitely one i'll want to get inside when the tours start up after memorial day (thanks again, jeff :))


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Taken on February 27, 2011