|N e i g h b o r h o o d s
The Layton Boulevard West Neighborhood includes only a sliver of the
Layton Park neighborhood. The Layton Park Neighborhood extends
south of Becher all the way to the Union Pacific Railroad and west of
Forest Home Avenue to the City Limits. However, the Layton Boulevard
West Neighbors, Inc. extends only to Lincoln Avenue. Layton Park is
named after two Englishmen, John and his son Frederick Layton. The
Laytons purchased the narrow triangle of land between Lincoln and
Forest Home east of S. 31st Street to use as pasture for their beef cattle.
This land supported their meat market that they operated downtown.
In 1849, John and Frederick opened the Layton House, a hotel that
provided rest to travelers going to Milwaukee from the rural country just
west of Layton Boulevard.
Later the Laytons leased the hotel to full-time managers and began a
meat-packing business, which would make Frederick one of the
wealthiest men in Milwaukee.
The hotel went out of business in the early l900s, but the building, located at 2504 W. Forest Home, is still
standing and has been converted into apartments.
In 1850, St. Paul's Episcopal Church purchased 72 acres across from the Layton House and converted the
land into the Forest Home Cemetery, which became a burial ground for many famous Milwaukeans
including John and Frederick Layton. Since the city did not have developed land for public recreation, the
cemetery was used as a park until the late 1890s.
In the early 1900s, blue-collar Polish and German immigrants began to build Polish flats and duplexes in
the area just west of the original city limit (Layton Boulevard). These immigrants called the neighborhood
Layton Park. While many of their descendants still live there, today there are many diverse ethnicities that
comprise Layton Park, including Latinos, Hmong, and African Americans. The Layton Park neighborhood
has seen many changes since the early 1900s. Today, many of the historic homes have been restored
and renovated. Diverse businesses line Lincoln Avenue, from bakery delicacies to Friday fish frys.
Neighbors who choose to live here know the value of the neighborhood’s historic heritage.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, written by John Gurda and published on October 8, 1995
Recently, in an effort to revive the Layton Boulevard’s historic past, the neighbors organized around an
identity project that would show visitors and neighbors alike how proud the community is of its heritage. A
historic monument marker has been placed on Layton Boulevard in between the streets Rogers and
|Layton Boulevard West Neighbors Inc., Sacred Heart Center 1545 S. Layton Boulevard
Suite 506 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215 414-383-9038