Laura Marshall sits in the dining room of her pristine north side ranch-style home. Hardwood floors and chandeliers grace the house’s welcoming interior; but, less than three years ago, no one could have imagined what it would become. The space, which Marshall and her husband Greg nicknamed ‘Mold Palace,’ was in disrepair — there was no heat, no plumbing, plants protruded from the gutters and it needed a new roof. “We basically bought a brick shell,” says Marshall. “The house was so bad — the only place it could go was up.”
Stewart Dempsey stands atop at painter’s ladder on a Tuesday afternoon touching up the trim of his historic home in Walnut Hill. A 26-year denizen of the home that sits on North 32nd Street, Dempsey says the house was one of the first two built in that area. “It was one of the first in the neighborhood; the very first one is two blocks away, Villa Uhrig, built in 1853. And the Koenigs, who built this house for German immigrants, they bought land from the Uhrig’s widow and in 1883 they built the house here. But it sat in the middle of what’s now 32nd Street, faced Lisbon. And, when the city came through this far…cause this was actually the Township of Wauwatosa, this was the country – the Koenigs owned four acres they had bought from the Uhrigs – and, when 32nd Street was cut through, they basically told Mr. (Frederick) Koenig, ‘Take your house down or move it or we’re gonna do it for you.’ And he decided to, since he owned all …
Margaret G. sits on a curb at the corner of 60th and Silver Spring waiting for the bus. The 52-year-old attended Cudahy High School and grew on on Milwaukee’s south side. “But I’m at a place, right now…a residential facility, right now, on this side of town – been there for a number of years, now,” she says. “It’s a psychiatric facility.”
Shirah Apple stands in the middle of a closed-off Kilbourn Avenue during Jazz in the Park. Apple was born in Milwaukee but she’s lived most of her life elsewhere. Her stepdad was in the Navy – as was she – and, because of that, she’s been all over, from Illinois to North Carolina to Japan and more. “You’re always meeting new people and always seeing new things and always adjusting and then there was the, ‘Oh, wow, it’s another change and I’m gonna say goodbye to this friend and maybe not see them again.’”
As storm clouds gather over Humboldt Park, Carlos Avila and Erika Coria dance and teach a group of youngsters. Avila and Coria are part of Ballet Folklorico Mexico de los Hermanos Avila, a dance company that teaches and performs traditional forms of Mexican dance. Today, it is traditional Aztec dance.