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“Best Kept secret in Milwaukee” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
2220 N. Terrace Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202
+1 414-271-3656
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Ranked #60 of 243 things to do in Milwaukee
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best Kept secret in Milwaukee”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

My friend and I live in Milwaukee, and we just found out about the Villa Terrace, so we planned a day to see it. It was beautiful. The Villa itself, is very old, but the view from the terrace was amazing. Of course, it's Lake Michigan. The landscape is very lovely, and well maintained. There is water that glides down the front steps to a little pool at the bottom. If you can't do the stairs to the gardens below, there is an elevator that takes you down, and back up again. The view looking up from below, is another gorgeous. And talk about a peaceful place. I could have sat there all day and been content. I plan on going back there in the Spring to see the crab apple trees in bloom.
Of course there are museum pieces to look at inside, but the terrace was by far my favorite place. I think more people in Milwaukee, and out of town guests to our city, should make it a stop on their travels. It is a truly wonderful find.

Visited September 2013
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28 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“favorite place to visit on Sunday mornings during summer”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

We and our friends love the place. There are concerts in the garden every Sunday morning. Although performing artists are not always consistent in the level of their craft, but the atmosphere makes up for that. And there is no charge, only small donations encouraged. Sun, music, coffee served at the Cafe Sopra Mare, great surroundings - this place spells summer for me. Recommend to visit if you can.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
80 attraction reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
“Light on content, still becoming”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

This is a promising theme for a museum, but there just isn't much there yet. Much of the museum focuses on the family that built and lived in the house, including extensive (excessive?) home movies of their children. There is a nearly empty main room downstairs, and a few small rooms upstairs with exhibits in ironwork, fabric, and a couple of other media. The view of the lake from the back terrace is worth a look, as are the other houses on N. Terrace Avenue and environs.

Follow their progress at building a collection and come back in a few years!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashotah, Wisconsin
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“An Italian villa in Milwaukee Wisconsin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

A beautiful museum. Amazing location. They have musical groups come in at times -esp during the summer. Lovely gardens in back. It overlooks Lake Michigan. Need I say more?

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muskego, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“small gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Nice music on Sunday mornings, once a month. The view of the lake is awesome and the art collection very interesting. I love the iron work, amazing. They have a small changing exhibit room which is nice to check out.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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