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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
13:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Wed - Sun 13:00 - 17:00

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 40 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 16
  • 16
    Very good
  • 4
  • 4
  • 0
Charming Mansion by the Lake

This is a charming art museum inside a mansion by Lake Michigan. There are some arts and antiques in the mansion and you are free to explore (it is not a huge museum). The... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 29 December 2016
Betty C

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40 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 40: English reviews
Level Contributor
128 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2016

This is a charming art museum inside a mansion by Lake Michigan. There are some arts and antiques in the mansion and you are free to explore (it is not a huge museum). The outside is pretty. The backyard faces Lake Michigan.

Thank Betty C
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2016

I'm sure this is a great destination, judging from the pictures. We made the mistake of visiting on a summer Sunday afternoon without checking to see if the facility was in use. 160 miles round trip only to be turned away, as a wedding was in progress. On the bright side, they very generously gave us tickets for another time,... More 

Thank fiberart
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2016

We attended an Art opening that was very well attended. A bit crowded and difficult to navigate into the many rooms, however the history of the building and the Art on display, more than made up for it. Staff was friendly and helpful with questions. If you love architecture and appreciate old world craftsmanship, this is worth a visit. The... More 

Thank pete6179
Palos Heights, Illinois
Level Contributor
154 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2016

This former mansion of the A. O. Smith family is being restored and converted to use as a decorative arts museum. It is a feast of architecture, gardens and now decorative arts. An interesting look back at mansions of a bygone era. As someone else stated, it is a qquick diversion as you tour MKE.

Thank Dennis C
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2016

A lovely spot with beautiful terraces overlooking Lake Michigan, a nice gallery, exhibit space and pleasant staff.

Thank FineArt b
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2016

Beautiful architecture and landscape make this worth a stop. Admission allows you access to home that is now a museum of sorts (though not much on display) and since it isn't a guided tour, you can wander the house and grounds at your leisure. Gardens weren't at their best yet, and they have some "artist" doing some sort of show... More 

Thank Shuteme66
Level Contributor
213 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2016

This is a nice diversion for something to do in Milwaukee along the lake shore. It can be a quick stop and the price for seniors is reasonable. Not much in the way of furnishings, but lovely grounds in the summer.

Thank Tom I
Level Contributor
146 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2016

\The art was nothing too special, and when I visited much of the grounds were blocked off. Staff were friendly but mostly talked to each other instead of engaging visitors.

Thank eec317
near Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
219 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2016

David Adler, a renowned architect, designed this building for the Smith family, Smith as in A.O. Smith. It sits high above the lakefront with a terrific view. The tour is self-guided, and there aren't too many explanatory signs, though a free brochure offers some explanation. One area has ironwork exhibits. Most of the building was not open to the public.... More 

Thank CityHiker73
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2015 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

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