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Peek backstage at the Washington Park bandshell

With the weather getting warmer, you might be spending more time -- at a safe distance, of course -- in the local parks.

And if Washington Park is on your list of parks to visit this summer, be sure to check out the Blatz Temple of Music, better known as the Washington Park Bandshell, a beautiful art-deco attraction in one of Milwaukee largest parks.

Washington Park Bandshell. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo,

The bandshell was constructed in in 1938 thanks to a donation from Emil Blatz. A lifelong music lover, he aimed to attract a professional orchestra to Milwaukee, on par with fine arts found in larger cities.

In its nearly 100 year history, the bandshell has welcomed former president Barack Obama, plus jazz legends, live opera and theater. Recently, it found new use with an ongoing concert series, Washington Park Wednesdays, which is currently on pause.

Backstage, there are dressing rooms for performers and orchestra members, enough to accommodate larger casts and productions.

OnMilwaukee's Bobby Tanzilo dug into the history of the Milwaukee landmark, and we spend this entire episode of Urban Spelunking on its history and use.

Listen to the episode, and read much more in Bobby's expanded story posted at OnMilwaukee.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee