Before we begin, let it be known that Milwaukee Record loves Milwaukee. We live here, work here, raise our families here, and have written exclusively about Milwaukee for the past 10-plus years. It’s who we are! We live and breathe this wonderful city and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Milwaukee has plenty of faults, of course, but it has so many wonderful things, too: music, food, drink, people working tirelessly to make the city better, and countless hidden gems. Milwaukee, put simply, is great.

But come on—we do not have one of the “most beautiful skylines in the world.” (Do we?) And yet that’s what the folks at Architectural Digest are claiming in their recent “The 17 Most Beautiful Skylines in the World (Please Share on Social Media)” piece. Manhattan. Hong Kong. Dubai. [throws dart] Milwaukee.

Again, don’t get us wrong! Milwaukee’s skyline is nice and it certainly has its charms (see photo below). And yes, the Calatrava and the Hoan Bridge are lovely. But is our overall skyline one of the most beautiful in the world? Right up there with Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and, hell, even Seattle?

Photo: Eric Halvie

“If it’s not Chicago, the Midwest is often overlooked. But as Milwaukee so effortlessly demonstrates, this is a mistake,” begins the AI-esque Architectural Digest blurb that of course frames the city against Chicago. “While on the smaller-side [sic] compared to some on this list, its proximity to Lake Michigan and buildings by heavy-hitters like Santiago Calatrava make it one of the prettiest in the United States.”

It gets better. Does the stock photo used to represent Milwaukee’s world-renowned skyline date back to 2011, thus ensuring that the Northwestern Mutual tower, the recently completed Couture, and other new-ish downtown buildings are nowhere to be seen? OF COURSE IT DOES.

This isn’t the first time that Milwaukee has been showered in well-earned praise chosen from a list of mid-sized Midwest cities that will absolutely share the ever-loving shit out of any list they appear on. Back in 2022, National Geographic included Milwaukee on its list of “25 breathtaking places.” And Architectural Digest, it should be noted, once said that a McDonald’s in Wisconsin Dells was among the “most beautiful McDonald’s in the world.” (Okay, it is pretty nice…)

In other “Um, okay, whatever you say” news, The New York Times recently called Milwaukee a great “beach city”! Again, we love our beaches (and love sitting at them in the morning, thinking about stuff), but, um, we dunno.

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Great Job, Milwaukee! National Geographic includes Milwaukee in “25 breathtaking places” list

Just sitting at Bradford Beach in the morning, thinking about stuff: The Milwaukee Record Review

A visit to the Wisconsin Dells McDonald’s, one of the “most beautiful McDonald’s in the world”

Great Job, Milwaukee! We’re horny

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.