Friends of Villa Terrace Gala in the Garden

A Little Naughty but Nice…An Evening at the Moulin Rouge on July 22nd, 2017


Friends of Villa Terrace Gala in the Garden fundraiser set for Saturday July 22

The French-themed Gala “An Evening at the Moulin Rouge. A Little Naughty But Nice” raises funds for the Villa Terrace Renaissance Garden.

Milwaukee, WI (June 2017) – An unforgettable evening of dining and dancing in the Italian garden overlooking Lake Michigan is planned for the 2017 Friends of Villa Terrace Gala in the Garden.

Cocktails will be served in the Mercury Courtyard while viewing a silent auction. The sit-down dinner to follow in the garden features French-inspired cuisine prepared by Gracious Events Catering. Guests can bid on Live Auction items and will be entertained with Music by Velocity and the Femme Feroce Dancers will perform the Can-Can.

The biennial event is the only major fundraiser held by the Friends of Villa Terrace organized to raise funds for the care of Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum and its Renaissance Garden.

The house was designed by internationally renowned, Milwaukee-born architect David Adler in 1924 for A.O. Smith president Lloyd Smith. The original garden was designed by Rose Standish Nichols in collaboration with the architect to recreate a 16 th century Tuscan landscape.

In 1997, the Friends of Villa Terrace working with landscape architect Dennis Buettner restored the garden, with a focus on classical elements of the original plans. 

Key features include the “scalleta d’aqua,” a “water stairway” that travels down three terraces to a grove of crab apple trees and a “vasca” – a fish pond. Two “secret gardens, ”a thicket, dwarf fruit trees and classical statuary are other elements of the garden.

The wrought iron Demmer-Neptune gate, bordering Lincoln Memorial Drive, is inspired by master iron worker Cyril Colnik, who designed ironwork for Villa Terrace.

The Friends of Villa Terrace have contributed substantially over the years to sustain this significant public garden overlooking Lake Michigan. As in many years, the A.O. Smith Corporation is the proud Gala presenting sponsor. This year’s Gala Co-Chairs are Kelly Gallion, Sarah McCabe, Scott McBride and Mark Hackbarth.

“It is so important to continue care for Villa Terrace’s garden and house as they give us a vivid picture of 1920’s decorative style in Milwaukee” said Kelly Gallion, Gala Co-Chair.

Today, the garden and grounds host a variety of events serving thousands of visitors, including children’s educational activities, theater presentations and garden lectures.

“The gala is a memorable evening in a magical garden. A special opportunity to experience a neighborhood institution and raise funds to preserve this unique piece of Milwaukee for generations to come,” said Mark Hackbarth, Co-Chair of the Gala.


What: An Evening at the Moulin Rouge. “A Little Naughty But Nice” the biennial Gala in the Garden event held by Friends of Villa Terrace

When: July 22, 2017, 5:30 PM to 11 PM

Where: Villa Terrace, 2220 N. Terrace Ave. Milwaukee

Tickets: $300 per person; (a portion of which is tax deductible). Tickets can be purchased online at

Information: Visit

Interview opportunities:

About the Event: Friends of Villa Terrace Gala in the Garden Co-Chair and President of Peabody’s Interiors is well informed about the planning of the Gala, the museum and its garden.

Fast facts: 

  • Designed in the Tuscan style, Villa Terrace was inspired by Villa Cicogna, built in the 1560s, in Lombardy, Italy.
  • Landscape designer Rose Standish Nichols, a descendant of early American colonist Miles Standish, designed the original Villa Terrace gardens in collaboration with the architect David Adler. She called the Italian gardens “a joy to the eye and a balm to the soul.”
  • Cyril Colnik created ironwork for a German pavilion at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Visitors can see his prize-winning fair piece in the permanent Colnik Gallery at Villa Terrace. 
  • Lloyd Smith’s widow donated Villa Terrace to Milwaukee County.

Contacts: Co-Chair Kelly Gallion (414-962- 4550). Molly Gallico (414-962- 4550).