Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
4
Architectural BuildingsArt MuseumsHistory Museums
Wednesday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Friday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
Overlooking Lake Michigan, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is an Italian Renaissance-style villa designed by architect David Adler in 1923 as the residence of Lloyd Smith of the A.O. Smith Corporation, his wife Agnes and their family. The villa’s courtyards, terraces and Renaissance garden flowing down to the lake make it unique in Milwaukee. The permanent collection features fine and decorative arts from the 15th through the 18th centuries. The museum is also home to the Cyril Colnik Collection and Archives. Colnik was Milwaukee’s master decorative iron artisan from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.
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Top ways to experience Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles63 reviews
Excellent
23
Very good
22
Average
11
Poor
7
Terrible
0

Francine W
Sun City Center, FL21 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Perched atop a bluff with a view of Lake Michigan, you'd think our visit would have been ideal. This historic, Italian Renaissance style house, constructed in 1924 for the Lloyd R. Smith family, has been restored and is currently promoted as a Decorative Arts Museum. Unfortunately, there was no tour guide available so we wondered around on our own without the benefit of historical information. We were served afternoon Tea in the Great Hall, but had to wait as staff and service were lacking. Tea sandwiches and cakes were not identified so it was a guessing game. On the positive side, the gardens provided a reprieve from cosmopolitan city life and offered a serene place to sit and enjoy the view.
Written July 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane K
Venice, FL4,051 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Friends
We enjoyed walking through this museum. Gorgeous interior and interesting design. There were also nice views of Lake Michigan. Your ticket for this museum also allows you to visit the Charles Allis Art Museum.
Written June 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cynthia F
Fair Lawn, NJ2,358 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Couples
It's worth a trip to see the view from the rear terrace of the terraced gardens and Lake Michigan. Donations are optional. While not as special as the outdoor terrace, the interior of the house was worth a walk-through if you appreciate decorative arts. We enjoyed lunch at the Beans & Barley Market and Cafe, which was a very short drive from Villa Terrace.
Written October 4, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BYZplay
Welch60 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
Lots of the British Royals photos displayed, the grounds are a work in progress but it is an incredible setting with an awesome backdrop of Lake Michigan. Fountains and lots of architectural details not often seen in the US. Really enjoyed the old videos of the family ice skating on the patio. The ironwork on display was an incredible display of top notch craftsmanship. Famous artists had their actual work displayed & the history behind it. Very worthwhile to see.
Written April 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doc A
Milwaukee, WI240 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Couples
This decorative arts museum overlooks Lake Michigan with beautiful vistas. It was designed and built in 1923 by David Adler in the style of a 16th century Northern Italian villa. The museum consists of the impressive villa itself with its permanent collection, and visiting exhibits which create an eclectic environment. The permanent collection includes the impressive Cyril Colnik collection of ironwork-over 200 decorative pieces.This is an outstanding site for weddings or receptions. Open only Wed through Sat from 1-5 p.m. Please check the website prior to your visit...it will enhance your experience.
Written July 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nella G
Milwaukee, WI51 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Friends
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.
Written September 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard S
Rochester, NY388 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Couples
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!
Written June 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

67annie
Nashotah, WI24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
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?
Written March 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cherylab
Chicago, IL21 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Couples
Walked in and was impressed by the garden. Looked just like Italy. We should have stopped there. Inside, I was expecting to see a museum, not just a practically empty house. The movies of the family were interesting, but that was it. Not much information about the little amount of furniture that was there. Nice view of the lake. Grounds were OK but not impressive. Pabst House was much more impressive.
Written June 24, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom B
Milwaukee, WI15 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011
A must see venue when you are close to the lake. Located on Terrace Avenue, the mediterranian architecutre and gardens are wonderful.
Written June 8, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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