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Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

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Address: 2220 N. Terrace Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone Number: +1 414-271-3656
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See all hours
Wed - Sun 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Overlooking Lake Michigan, this Italian Renaissance-style villa was...

Overlooking Lake Michigan, this Italian Renaissance-style villa was designed by architect David Adler in 1923. Originally the residence of Lloyd Smith of the A.O. Smith Corporation and his family, the Museum features fine and decorative arts dating from the 15th through the 18th centuries, wrought-iron masterpieces by Cyril Colnik, and a formal garden and changing exhibitions by local, regional, and international artists.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 31 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 14
  • 12
    Very good
  • 1
  • 4
  • 0

Unique architecture, beautiful view, and interesting exhibits. Tour the neighborhood. The wrought iron exhibit is particularly informative.

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 20, 2015

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31 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

This beautiful historic property has some of best views of Lake Michagin. Constructed in 1923, The Italien Renaissance architecture provides classic elegance throughout, while well manicured garden's enhance the feeling of tranquility. You can escape to a private terrace garden, go for a walk along the Lakefront, or enjoy the sights and attractions of Lincoln Memorial Drive and, surrounding areas.... More 

Thank NDT3189
Level Contributor
130 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015

Unique architecture, beautiful view, and interesting exhibits. Tour the neighborhood. The wrought iron exhibit is particularly informative.

Thank kiddydoc1
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2015

Beautiful in every way imaginable. A must for true sightseeing. No regrets! My experience with this place was phenomenal. Everywhere I looked was beauty. I got the feeling that I was in Italy. Embrace and absorb the atmosphere. Take pictures and let the memories make a home in your heart and mind.

Thank Dwain H
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2015

A number of guests have been somewhat disappointed with our recommending this. Maybe you need to revisit multiple times to really get it. There is an extraordinary vision at work here as a sense of place with an almost perfect relationship to the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. It takes time and repeated visits to appreciate that you keep coming back,... More 

Thank George330
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

Current special exhibit at Villa Terrace certainly enhances the great house and its treasures. Catch it before it leaves on Feb. 8. Wonderful trip for parents/grandparents and young children.

1 Thank texgirl65
Level Contributor
72 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

It doesn't matter what the exhibit is at Villa Terrace. This small museum is a must see. The building sits on a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan, and was designed in 1928 as an Italian Villa. It is a beautiful House and worth the entry fee on its own. It has classical gardens that extend down the hill to the lake... More 

1 Thank jlessuck
Level Contributor
174 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014

The Renaissance garden is the highlight of this villa on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The stairs are easy to walk all the way to the Neptune Gate where you can turn around and photograph this beautiful view. The house is used numerous times a month for weddings and it shows. The walls are bumped and marred on the first... More 

1 Thank PrettyPickyDenver
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
182 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

A wonderful slice from the past, beautifully preserved and displayed. The courtyard and grounds are beautiful and the house itself is spectacular with magnificent views of the lake! Great displays of art and art works and just a treat to see the house in such great condition.

1 Thank FunTravelerForSure
Birmingham, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

So so art museum in the Water Tower district. The museum is adjacent to and perhaps a 200 yard walk from Bradford Beach. The museum resides in an absolutely gorgeous setting overlooking Lake Michigan. The museum.......actually a small mansion in the Water Tower district....is located adjacent to several examples of different yet very distinct architectural styles. Tickets can be purchased... More 

1 Thank Michael E W
Augusta, GA
Level Contributor
872 reviews
419 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 375 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

There was a Japanese block art special exhibit here that day, but the rest of the collection was not impressive. The view out to the lake was fantastic, and it is in a beautiful neighborhood.

1 Thank Kay M

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