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“Best Kept secret in Milwaukee”

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Ranked #61 of 174 things to do in Milwaukee
More attraction details
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
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Best Kept secret in Milwaukee”
Reviewed 19 September 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
Thank Lil L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“favorite place to visit on Sunday mornings during summer”
Reviewed 3 September 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
2 Thank Nella G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, New York
Level 6 Contributor
302 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“Light on content, still becoming”
Reviewed 29 June 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
2 Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashotah, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“An Italian villa in Milwaukee Wisconsin”
Reviewed 15 March 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
2 Thank 67annie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Muskego, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“small gem”
Reviewed 11 March 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
1 Thank Victoria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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