Saint Casimir, also known as Our Lady of Divine Providence, is a massive gothic-inspired church on Bremen Street. Constructed in Cream City brick, it accommodated the growing Polish community in Milwaukee over one-hundred years ago. As Brady Street and Saint Hedwig Parish were getting a bit crowded, many Poles decided to pack their bags and head over to what’s now the oh-so-trendy Riverwest district of Milwaukee. And this is their legacy.
The built-to-last church, with its striking copper steeples and clock tower, was designed by our old friend, Erhard Brielmaier. The bricks today are quite dirty and could use a good cleaning. Cream City brick is rather porous and takes in a lot of pollution. Hopefully that’s in the cards for the near future. According to Megan E. Daniels, “St. Casimir’s was constructed amidst a working-class, residential neighborhood developing between 1885 and 1915.” (Images of America: Milwaukee’s Early Architecture). It’s still a very active spot, with great restaurants and cafes dotting the surrounding narrow, frenetic streets.