Black Cat Alley – Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Atlas Obscura

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Black Cat Alley

A group of artists transformed this desolate city alleyway into an outdoor gallery of street art. 


Hidden behind the famous Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee is a dark alley that was once nothing more than an urban shortcut.

That was until 2016, when a group of local artists turned the alley into a showcase of street art. The alley now features artwork from local and visiting artists. Black Cat Alley contains over 25 murals, a well-maintained rain garden, and a nonstop rotation of tags, stickers, and throw-ups.

The transformation of such a central pedestrian location on Milwaukee’s eastside marked a cultural renaissance in the neighborhood. Where there were once empty storefronts are now hip destinations such as a cat-adoption cafe, an ax-throwing bar, shops, and restaurants.

The alley has been the backdrop for multiple music videos, wedding photos, commercial shoots, and even Wisconsin tourism ads, as more and more people have become aware of this hidden artistic gem.  

Know Before You Go

The alley does not have a street address, but can be found between Farwell and Prospect Avenues, and accessed at Ivanhoe or Kenilworth streets.

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