Kilbourntown went up as a direct, contemporary rival to Juneautown . Speculator Byron Kilbourn refused to align his bridges with Juneautown’s, the consequence of which is apparent today. There wasn’t much going for the land, other than its location as a transit point to Madison . Other than North Old World 3rd Street , much of the architecture was razed for megaprojects.
Highlights in Kilbourntown include the Mediterranean revival Riverside Theater along West Wisconsin Avenue; the Germania Building on West Wells Street, once the site of a German-language publishing empire and notable for its carved lions and copper-clad domes (endearingly dubbed “Kaiser’s Helmets”); the odd-shaped Milwaukee County Historical Center ; the legendary Turner Hall; the Milwaukee Public Museum ; Milwaukee Public Library ; and the enormous Grand Avenue Mall.