From 1983 to 1990, Milwaukee Department of City Development had a local graphic designer named Jan Kotowicz design a neighborhood poster for a variety of different Milwaukee neighborhoods. With funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program, the illustrator joined forces with local historian John Gurda to create a total of 27 dazzling posters with neighborhood history on the poster’s reverse side. Each address in a specific neighborhood was mailed that region’s poster free of charge as part of what Gurda called a “city-building initiative.”
The artistic undertaking ran out of funding in 1990, leaving the project incomplete. However, Kotowicz and Gurda got the band together again in 2015 to release 11 new neighborhood posters to coincide with Gurda’s book, Milwaukee: City Of Neighborhoods. Though still well short of capturing every part of Milwaukee’s approximately 100 neighborhoods, the series makes quite a dent. These posters don’t just have noble intentions and a positive community focus, they’re also awesome. You can see our indisputable rankings of all 38 neighborhood posters HERE.
Now that you’re up to speed on Milwaukee neighborhood posters, we need to let you know that a local business is now printing some of the poster designs on sweatshirts and they’re pretty great. Cream City Print Lounge (8010 W. National Ave., 414-539-6065) is the business responsible for turning these works of art into stylish apparel.
At this point, Cream City Print Lounge’s “Milwaukee Neighborhood Collection” features sweatshirts for seven neighborhoods: Bay View, East Side, Harambee, North Division, Riverwest, Rufus King, and Sherman Park. Prices range from $34.99 to $37.99, with free shipping on orders of $75 or more. Shop local, represent your neighborhood, and give that proud Milwaukeean on your holiday list a unique gift they’ll love. Check out the seven Milwaukee Neighborhood Collection designs below.