Milwaukee: A City Built on Water

[Original Airdate: April 22, 2015] Historian John Gurda explores how the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan spurred Milwaukee's growth. The settlers used rivers and Lake Michigan to transport grain, lumber, leather and beer, but water was just as important for play as it was for work. Gurda explains how the Milwaukee River became a destination for fun. Learn how the lower Milwaukee River was eventually reduced to an open sewer by 1900, with Lake Michigan suffering similar indignities. Only in recent decades have the currents turned for the better. From the Milwaukee River Greenway to the reborn Menomonee Valley to the cultural theme park on our downtown lakefront, the patterns of the past are being reversed, providing cause for celebration as well as concern.