The Martin Drive neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a district on the city’s west side. It is named for the local 19th-century politician Morgan Lewis Martin. Housing development started in the 1920s around two breweries. The area has benefited from local improvement programs and community activities since the 1990s.
The Martin Drive neighborhood is located on Milwaukee, WI’s west side. The neighborhood is located north and west of Miller Brewing Company. It includes Harley-Davidson and the Highland Boulevard Viaduct. The neighborhood was built in the 1920s and has several old apartment buildings. The area has retained its density and is still one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. Martin Drive is bordered by Martin Drive in the south, 35th Street in the east, Vliet Street in the north, and US 41 in the west. Milwaukee‘s Washington Park is located just north of the neighborhood.
Morgan Martin, a Green Bay Lawyer, and speculator, bought half of Solomon Juneau’s Juneautown property for $500 in 1833. In 1835 they co-founded their new village, with Martin responsible for the legal and promotional aspects while Juneau took care of local issues. Martin, born in Martinsburg, New York, in 1805 (his father founded the town), was a Wisconsin congressman, assemblyman, state senator, and Oneida Indian Agent in Green Bay. He died in 1887. Bed Bug Exterminator Milwaukee
A street in the village was named for Martin, but during the 1920s renaming program, it was changed to State Street. Then, to appease those who complained that Martin deserved a place on the city’s map, this street, one block south of Juneau Avenue, was renamed Martin Drive in 1926.
During the 1920s to 1950s, city boundaries at the time ended at 27th Street. The Town of Wauwatosa ran from what is now 27th Street to 124th Street. Ads began to run in the daily papers or on posted bills. An example of three ads from the period marketing property around Washington Park is pictured. Lots were plotted, and many houses were constructed from 1920 to 1929. Sanborn maps were created, and this region’s fire insurance risks were calculated. Most homes were of frame construction. The Martin Drive neighborhood subdivision developments were the Park Front, Highland, Schmoldts, and Menomonee plats.
In the 21st century, improvements and updates continue as the city and neighborhood groups focus on quality-of-life concerns. Many housing units have installed new windows, replaced siding, improved landscaping and fencing, added driveways, and replaced roofs. In addition, the neighborhood is seeing a growth in business on Vliet Street. Property values continue to rise because of the high-quality housing stock. The community has stabilized, and owner-occupancy is a bonus for this area. Neighbors still see benefits in the annual neighborhood cleanups. Many families participate in the Halloween trick-or-treat, neighborhood-wide rummage sale, summer picnic, holiday caroling, and other neighborhood activities. In 2008, a Sunday farmer’s market developed across the street from the neighborhood at the Washington Park Senior Center. In 2009, a community garden was developed at 46th and Vliet Street with green space neighbors used for summer picnics. Three planters identify the neighborhood. In 2010, stone markers and new plantings marked boundaries for the area. In 2011, outdoor evening movies started at a community garden. In 2012, Little Free Libraries were first installed in the neighborhood. Neighbors are more active and have more dialog within the community, primarily at the monthly neighborhood meetings. Still, they also are using the Internet and e-mail to facilitate these neighborhood communications.
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