Riverwest: A Community History
Author: Tom Tolan
Publisher: Past Press (2003)
In the Milwaukee neighborhood of Riverwest, the parade of change has been a full-blown pageant. Tucked neatly into a long curve of the Milwaukee River north of downtown, this slice of the city began as a summertime playground for wealthy Germans, became a haven for working-class Polish immigrants, found new life as a Puerto Rican barrio, and then hosted a stunning variety of countercultures, from suburban-bred revolutionaries to tattoed punk anarchists. The pageant has been going on for nearly 200 years and, amazingly, every stage in the procession is still visible—either in the landscape itself or in the people who share it.
“Riverwest: A Community History is a captivating chronicle of a unique Milwaukee neighborhood, but its interest transcends the merely provincial. the Riverwest experience echoes some of the dominant themes in American history, from European immigration to racial integration and from urban decay to urban rebirth. This is an important book about an important neighborhood, a study that enhances our understanding of Milwaukee in particular and American cities in general.”