East Village Historic District

Generally bounded by North Humboldt, East Brady, North Warren and Milwaukee R, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Ethnic workers' neighborhood with dense housing on an irregular street pattern


Overview on Pulaski Street

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in April 2014




Part of the Brady Street neighborhood, the East Village Historic District was settled primarily by Polish immigrants who came to work in the nearby tanneries and breweries. The dream of home ownership is demonstrated in the neighborhood, with most homes being of modest, frame construction. Interspersed in the neighborhood are duplexes, taverns, "backyard houses" and Polish flats. An irregular street pattern interrupts the usual Milwaukee street grid and adds flavor to the neighborhood.

Polish flats were expanded houses that started out as modest cottages, that were later lifted atop a tall foundation, allowing for more living space in the newly constructed basement. Backyard houses were small structures that might be one of two, or even three homes, crowded on to one city lot.

The East Village Historic District shows an ethnic neighborhood that is quite unlike any other in the Milwaukee area.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2004
Reference number
Architectural styles
Victorian; American Movement
Areas of significance
Ethnic Heritage - European; Architecture; Transportation
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling; Restaurant; Specialty store
Current functions
Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling; Financial institution; Professional
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 278
Contributing sites: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 5

Update Log 

  • June 22, 2014: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status and Added Photos