the villa estate

Exhibitions

14 Apr

In the Park with Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee

April 14, 2022 – September 25, 2022
(Happening Now)

In the Park with Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee preview image

Presented by the Friends of Villa Terrace and guest curated by Annemarie Sawkins and Martha Chaiklin, this exhibition will profile the significant contribution Frederick Law Olmsted made toward inclusive, accessible parks systems across the United States.

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Events

3 Jul

Yoga on the Terrace

July 03, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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3 Jul

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Toco Rio, Brazilian Choro Music

July 03, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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10 Jul

Yoga on the Terrace

July 10, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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10 Jul

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Donald Linke, Guitar from Piano Perspective

July 10, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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17 Jul

Yoga on the Terrace

July 17, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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17 Jul

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Aidan Hogan, Cello

July 17, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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23 Jul

Gala in the Garden: A Night of Wine and Roses

July 23, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

The Friends of the Villa Terrace invite you to a magical evening of cocktails, wine tasting, dinner and dancing in the beautiful gardens of Villa Terrace!

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24 Jul

Yoga on the Terrace

July 24, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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24 Jul

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Johnny Padilla, Soprano/Alto/Tenor Jazz Saxophone

July 24, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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31 Jul

Yoga on the Terrace

July 31, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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31 Jul

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Neal Bardele, Jazz Duo

July 31, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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7 Aug

Yoga on the Terrace

August 07, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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7 Aug

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Duo Serenata, Mandolin/Guitar Duo

August 07, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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14 Aug

Yoga on the Terrace

August 14, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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14 Aug

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Joe Humiston, Singer/Piano

August 14, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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21 Aug

Yoga on the Terrace

August 21, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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21 Aug

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Jack Grassel, Guitar

August 21, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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28 Aug

Yoga on the Terrace

August 28, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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28 Aug

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - The Flood, Americana featuring Ragtime, Early Jazz, and Rockabilly

August 28, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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4 Sep

Yoga on the Terrace

September 04, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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4 Sep

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Siempre Flamenco, Flamenco Guitar/Dance

September 04, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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11 Sep

Yoga on the Terrace

September 11, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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11 Sep

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Corey Klunk, Worldwind Jazz: Multi-Instrumental Classic Jazz

September 11, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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18 Sep

Yoga on the Terrace

September 18, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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18 Sep

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Cosmo, Reed Quintet

September 18, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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25 Sep

Yoga on the Terrace

September 25, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Yoga with an inspiring and peaceful view of the Renaissance Garden and Lake Michigan...all from the red-tiled, sun-soaked terrace.

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25 Sep

Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office Presents: Café Sopra Mare - Anita Graef, Cello

September 25, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us in the Villa Terrace's Mercury Courtyard for a morning of music!

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Explore Villa Terrace

Mercury Courtyard

The Mercury Courtyard is a charming cloister now dominated by the statue of Mercury, the mythical messenger of the gods. It’s surrounded by a vaulted loggia with Tuscan columns and grilled Italian windows.

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Great Hall

The Great Hall was the Smiths’ family room and was often used to entertain guests. The ceiling beams in the room are Georgia Pecky Cypress with white, blue and yellow stenciling.

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Dining Room

Like that of the Great Hall, the dining room's ceiling is made from beamed Georgia Pecky Cypress.

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Library

The Queen Anne-style wood paneling in the library is walnut and was installed by the Matthew Brothers of Milwaukee.

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Colnik profile

Colnik Collection

Overview

The Cyril Colnik exhibition, located in the second-floor south-wing galleries, is a showcase of metal works made by Milwaukee ironsmith Cyril Colnik (1871–1958).

SEE MORE PIECES OF COLNIK'S WORK
Iron and Deer Antlers
Iron and Deer Antlers
Iron and Deer Antlers

Sconce

This sconce with three candleholders was constructed from a deer antler wrapped in iron.

Iron, deer antler 20 Inches high 1938

Masterpiece

Pictured is the centerpiece of a large grille that was Cyril Colnik’s “Masterpiece,” which demonstrated the mastery of metalworking techniques an apprentice was required to show to be named a master craftsman.

Iron 48 x 35 x 7.5 inches c. 1893

Dancing Dragon

This dynamic iron figure is dubbed the “Dancing Dragon.”

Iron 28 x 16 inches n.d.

Our Story

Lloyd and Agnes Smith

Lloyd Raymond Smith was born in 1883. He attended West Division High School in Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, before following his father into the family business — the A.O. Smith Corporation. Agnes Gram was born in 1893. Lloyd and Agnes married in 1915, two years after Lloyd had become president of A.O. Smith. It is said that Agnes wanted to build a unique house that reflected her love of architecture and design.

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David Adler

The Smiths hired the renowned architect and Milwaukee native David Adler (1883–1949) to build their dream home. The idea to build a home in the style of a sixteenth-century Northern Italian villa came on a trip to Italy after their marriage in 1915. Choosing between two Milwaukee sites, they settled on its present location, with Adler reportedly saying, “Let Lake Michigan be my Mediterranean.” Fittingly, the original name for the home was Sopra Mare (“above the sea” in Italian).

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Rose Standish Nichols

Rose Standish Nichols (1872–1960) was a landscape architect, writer, suffragist, and peace activist. She collaborated with Villa Terrace architect David Adler on the design of the Sopra Mare garden and its water stairway, which were probably adapted from the layout of the sixteenth-century Villa Cicogna-Mozzoni garden that she described in her book, Italian Pleasure Gardens, published in 1928.

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The Villa Today

Today Villa Terrace and its Renaissance Garden are zoned as Milwaukee County parkland. Together, they serve the citizens of Milwaukee through the creation and promotion of local, regional and international visual and decorative arts, and a wide range of intergenerational community arts programming that includes theater, music, arts and crafts, creative writing, poetry, and gardening.

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A.O. Smith Corp.

The story of the A.O. Smith Corporation is one of experimentation, research, and innovation. From humble beginnings as a small machine shop located in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, to its growth into a global corporation, A.O. Smith was one of the first to put significant resources into research and development, constantly seeking out new technologies and their practical application for new products and services.

See the Whole Story

Host Your Event

From weddings that hearts remember to meetings that accomplish missions, Villa Terrace is the perfect place for your next event. The unparalleled beauty of a Mediterranean-style villa will surround your guests, as they appreciate tranquil views of Lake Michigan from the Terrazzo della Luna or stroll through the Renaissance Garden.

Rent Villa Terrace