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Hidden Gems: What's on the top of that hill on North Avenue? Exploring Kilbourn Reservoir Park

Posted at 3:08 PM, May 10, 2021

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MILWAUKEE -- Let me ask you this - have you ever wondered what was at the top of the hill on North Avenue, heading east toward the lake?

As a child, my father would pile the family into his Buick (his emerald-green Electra 225), and head east on North Ave. to the lakefront.

He’d drive around this huge hill and on the backside of it we’d look to see the US American Legion emblem made of flowers (50,000 of them, I have since learned).

I’ve always wondered what was up there. Well, this is a Hidden Gem!

Turns out that when I was a child it was a reservoir where an average of 122 million gallons of water was pumped per day. The reservoir could hold 22 million gallons of drinking water at any given time.

Now it is a charming green space with a playground and a half-court for basketball, where you can go and enjoy one of the best views of the downtown skyline.

I was tickled to climb the hill with Steve Schaffer from the Milwaukee Historical Society. There I learned fascinating factoids about my mysterious hill. Trust me, if you’ve not seen this view from the top…you want to! And If I were you, I’d pack snacks.

Kilbourn Reservoir is located at 2230 N. Bremen St. Enjoy, and tell me what you think.

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Milwaukee Tonight focuses on the people, places, and events that make the community special. From artists to architecture, food to festivals, neighborhoods to nightlife - this show is a nightly reminder that our city is filled with stories to be proud of. Watch weekdays at 6:30 p.m. on TMJ4.