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Photo Essay: Downtown in white as winter arrives

A blanket of snow covered Milwaukee in the first major storm of the season, dumping up to 9 inches by Sunday, December 11.

The Department of Public Works salted and plowed roads across Milwaukee since the first flakes fell on the evening of December 10. With the accumulation and continued snowfall, the municipal service worked with organized precision to dig out the city and keep transportation routes open.

Rural areas surrounding Milwaukee County are often called winter wonderlands after a snowfall. Their large swatches of land and trees look majestic with nature’s frosting of ice. In downtown Milwaukee, snow is usually considered a hassle for commuters who are looking to parallel park or arrive at the workplace. The commuting office culture is exposed to this snow after it has been salted and plowed into a dirty grime.

But as a substantial population of residents continue to return to the downtown area and live, they are able to see a winter beauty among the glass towers and parks.

To quote Preston Cole, Commissioner of the Department of Neighborhood Services Administration, Milwaukee is an urban forest. Not just along the lakefront, but Yankee Hill, East Town, and Westown are all areas fortified with green space.

The weekend storm coincided with the Milwaukee Historical Society’s annual “Holiday Treasures and Traditions” exhibit held on December 11. Along with Santa selfies and activities for kids, the event presented historic images and objects related to Milwaukee’s holiday past like the Christmas Parade and Santa’s favorite helper, Billie the Brownie.

These images are a look at the nature, architecture, and metropolitan lifestyle of a first snow in the city.

© Photo

Lee Matz

About The Author

Lee Matz

Former Creative Director and Photojournalist for the Milwaukee Business Journal, Lee brings his years of international experience as a foreign correspondent in Asia and Europe, with a background in publishing, advertising, and design, to the Milwaukee Independent. His list of awards include three consecutive top honors from the Milwaukee Press Club. Lee proudly uses MCTS as his exclusive mode of transportation, other than walking, for all the news stories he reports about in Milwaukee.

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