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Old April 2nd, 2007, 12:17 AM   #961
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Not talking about the same building.

And the big issue with the building we ARE talking about is that it is on Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee's "main street". It looks like crap to have rundown empty building sitting around. Not a good impression of the city as a whole.

Eh?

Would you rather have a few old, beautiful buildings that have seen better days and left with the potential to be astounding, or would you rather have a parking lot? You'd be crazy to say the latter (or probably someone who worked on the Detroit Planning Commision through the 1960s). Besides, with all of the well kept buildings surrounding those in question it's very hard to get the impression that Milwaukee is seedy and unkept.

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Old April 2nd, 2007, 03:11 AM   #962
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^the left hand side of the block has some decent old world architecture, but the entire right hand side of the block is just LAME. You couldn't make those buildings architecturally significant without practically rebuilding them.


I mean, I'm totally for preserving historic architecure and am very proud of my hometown's efforts in that regard, but at what point does preservation hinder progress?
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 03:22 AM   #963
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There is a point, yes, when preservation will hamper the upwards march of progress, but at this point it is certainly the salivating urge to develop that is hampering preservation. Look at all the open space to the south of the block in question:



Mind you I think the only architecturally insignificant structure in the picture I posted earlier is the middle one, which appears to be a remodeling of the facade. I'm guessing it would have appeared like the face immeaditely to the left of it. That could be restored.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 04:02 AM   #964
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlerontheruf View Post
^the left hand side of the block has some decent old world architecture, but the entire right hand side of the block is just LAME. You couldn't make those buildings architecturally significant without practically rebuilding them.


I mean, I'm totally for preserving historic architecure and am very proud of my hometown's efforts in that regard, but at what point does preservation hinder progress?
what's wrong with the building on the far right? all it would need is a remodeling of the first floor, some new windows, brick cleaning, etc. We don't have a lot of buildings downtown from the 1800's. Just because these aren't ornate doesn't mean they should be demolished. We have PLENTY of vacant lots downtown, especially in this area that could be built on with new construction. i wouldn't want to tear down any historic buildings until every vacant lot has been built on first.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 04:14 AM   #965
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I don't see the big a-do with this entire subject. I haven't saw feelings rise this high in a looong time, and never concerning older buildings! As of right now the owners are looking for prospects, and they don't have any intention as of yet to rip em down and building something new anyways! May I add the alderman representing downtown is opposed to tearing down the buildings too? So, if unfortunately bad luck strikes and these owners decide to rip it down, they still got a huge process to go through for approvals. Let's not panic people!

Oh, and from that pic up there, there are PLENTY of parking lots that could be changed and built up into parking structures or nice buildings. There is enough breathing room for the old and the new in downtown Milwaukee.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 04:48 AM   #966
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what's wrong with the building on the far right?
The entire first floor exterior no longer exists
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 06:17 AM   #967
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Question on the overhead picture, isn't one of those sites along Wisconsin ave the supposed site of the Broadway and Wisconsin tower proposal?
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 06:30 AM   #968
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewcityfan
s of right now the owners are looking for prospects, and they don't have any intention as of yet to rip em down and building something new anyways!
Actually, they have had intentions of tearing those buildings down to clear land to build an office tower (they've had at least two different designs since 2003).

As far as the condition of the historic buildings and the possibility of restoration...I think many of you would be surprised at how many once-run-down older buildings--yes, even ones that have been severely modified over the years such as the ones we're talking about--have been rehabilitated into much nicer condition. They're all over the place, from big cities to small towns, all across the country. So it's not really a question of do-ability--it can certainly be done.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 06:35 AM   #969
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Question on the overhead picture, isn't one of those sites along Wisconsin ave the supposed site of the Broadway and Wisconsin tower proposal?

yeah, it was proposed for that very block. I think it would have been a much better utilization of one of the most coveted commerical real estate parcels in the city than an unsightly three story row, however "historic" the row is (I happen its historic value to the city is negligible).
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 06:36 AM   #970
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJinOshkosh
Question on the overhead picture, isn't one of those sites along Wisconsin ave the supposed site of the Broadway and Wisconsin tower proposal?
Yes, those are the buildings we're discussing here.

The original "Broadway-Wisconsin" tower (never was an official name) was something like 24 or so stories--to be built on the site in question where these historical buildings stand. That proposal never went anywhere because the developers couldn't get a tenant. They came back a while later with a second, shorter (about 17 stories) more boxy design. They haven't been able to land an anchor tenant for that version either.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 07:12 AM   #971
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speaking of historic buildings that should be saved:

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=585051

Give VA center plan another chance
Posted: April 1, 2007

Wander along the cracked roads that snake through the grounds of the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center and you might think you were in a ghost town:

Gracious old brick and clapboard buildings are crumbling, their Gothic arches, brick corbeling and intricate grillwork mute testimony to the craftsmanship and vision that built this tranquil refuge for veterans returning from the Civil War. Yellow "caution" tape blocks the entrance to rotting wooden steps. Paint flakes off old wood. Roofs are patched and brittle. A fallen screen dangles from a fire escape.

Until recently, it looked as if this faded architectural trove was about to get new life. Under a thoughtful plan from Milwaukee's Department of City Development, the city would lease the site from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for 75 years. Five of the most historic buildings in the northern part of the 196-acre grounds, including the original Soldiers Home (the mansard-towered Old Main, built in 1869), would be restored for veteran-centered housing and other services.

An office park for biomedical and high-tech firms would be developed on a 27.5-acre parcel on the southern part of the grounds, near the VA hospital on W. National Ave., with some of the research there centered on ways to help war-battered vets; roads and infrastructure would be improved. The city would finance its share of the project with $21 million in tax-incremental financing, to be paid back with tax revenue from the new development.

Help for vets, as many as 1,500 new jobs, a rescue for some of the most historic buildings in Milwaukee - what's not to like here?

"It seemed like a winner for everyone," Rocky Marcoux, the city's energetic development commissioner, told me.

But many veterans didn't think so. They torpedoed the plan, arguing against any development that would intrude on what they consider "sacred ground." The 27.5-acre southern section, they said, should be used to expand Wood National Cemetery, the historic burial ground off I-94 that the VA has now closed to all but a few new graves. Vets dismissed the plan for a columbarium, to house the ashes of cremated vets, as tokenism.

They also objected to the fact that some non-veterans might be allowed into the proposed housing; never mind that federal fair-housing laws would come into play and that veterans would still get preference.

But now that they "fought City Hall and won," as Joe Campbell, a spokesman for the vets, put it, what next? The old buildings remain empty; the VA is spending $1.3 million a year to heat and maintain them; and veterans need more services.

"If we can afford a tax to support Miller Park, on former VA land, maybe we need a new tax to support veterans," Campbell said.

As the daughter of a Navy veteran, I'd gladly pay such a tax myself, but I suspect it's a non-starter. Even after the scandalous revelations at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (a non-VA facility), I don't see elected officials jumping to impose new taxes to save vacant VA buildings. And the VA's top priority, quite rightly, is care for combat vets.

When I pressed Campbell on what other funding mechanism he might suggest, he offered no specifics.

"I'm dealing with a lot of heart and a lot of hope," he said. A new draft proposal by veterans groups on how to save the buildings is equally vague.

The bottom line is that heart and hope are not enough. Here, as in any preservation scheme, you need a revenue stream. The city's proposal offered that. Yes, you can fault city officials for not including vets in the process early enough. But planners then bent over backward to address critics' concerns, some of which seemed a surrogate for long-standing resentments against the VA.

Now, the vets may get something they like even less. Dean Martell, who runs business enterprises at Zablocki, says the next step will be to let private developers float proposals for reuse of the property.

"They may not have the same incentive as city officials did to listen to the vets' concerns," he cautions.

As Claude Hutchison, who runs the VA's office of asset enterprises in Washington, reminded me: "Our charge from Congress is to create value for unutilized assets." That won't mean a Wal-Mart, he says, but it could mean other retail or office development, as is happening on VA sites elsewhere.

I think the better option would be for everyone to cool down awhile and then revisit the city's creative proposal. In the meantime, let the VA explore an expansion of Wood National Cemetery into other parts of the grounds. And let the vets remember Voltaire's wise caveat: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."

On the Web • For a tour of the VA grounds, narrated by Whitney Gould, click on www.jsonline.com/links. • For more on the Milwaukee Department of City Development's redevelopment proposal: www.mkedcd.org/va• For more on veterans' opposition to the redevelopment plan: www.woodsVA4vets.org E-mail to [email protected] or call (414) 224-2358.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 01:41 AM   #972
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The VA grounds and the Coast Guard station are probably the two most threatened historic sites in the city.

I'd have to see renderings or site plans before I could come to any conclusions about the proposed VA complex. It could go maniacally wrong given what is wanted, but it can be done right. That whole complex is very fragile in terms of design compatibility.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #973
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A little of topic but i am going to the brewers game today vs. dogers and was wondering if any public transportation is avalible from my water street condo area?

A little of this will be going on and that way me and the girl could start early

Thanks for any input. and go brewers! 2-0
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Old April 4th, 2007, 07:23 PM   #974
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A little of topic but i am going to the brewers game today vs. dogers and was wondering if any public transportation is avalible from my water street condo area?

A little of this will be going on and that way me and the girl could start early

Thanks for any input. and go brewers! 2-0
MCTS has a special route that goes down Wisconsin Avenue and stops right in front of Miller Park:

Brewers Home Games - Route 90
Milwaukee Brewers fans will be able to catch a Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) Rt. 90 (Miller Park) bus on Wisconsin Avenue from the Downtown Transit Center to Miller Park.

Rt. 90, which will be provided for all home games, begins two hours before game time. On games with projected heavy attendance, buses will operate every 10 minutes. During all other home games, buses will operate approximately every 30 minutes.

Rt. 90 begins at the Downtown Transit Center and makes stops along Wisconsin Avenue. From Van Buren to 10th Street, the buses stop roughly every two blocks. After 10th Street, Rt. 90 stops about every four blocks up to N. 38th St. Rt. 90 drops off passengers at the MCTS Transit Area on Yount Drive on the north side of Miller Park. Return trips operate from Yount Dr. along Wisconsin Ave. to the Downtown Transit Center. After the game is completed, buses leave from the MCTS Transit Area at Miller Park up to one-half hour after the game.

Brewers fans can also ride Rt. 10 (Humboldt-Wisconsin) and Rt. 18 (National Ave.) that stop within walking distance of Miller Park.

Fares for Routes 10, 18 and 90 are $1.75 for adults and 85 cents for seniors (65 and over) and disabled individuals with identification, and children 6 through 11 years.

For specific route and schedule information, call the MCTS BusLine at 414-344-6711, any day at any time or call from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. to speak to an information agent.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #975
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Speaking of the Brewers - so far so good. 2-0!
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Old April 5th, 2007, 01:20 AM   #976
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Terrace Row

Just got home from work and there is a fence up around the New Land Development "Terrace Row" on the corner of Kilbourn and Cass.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 04:21 AM   #977
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^I can't seem to remember that project. Do you have a rendering?
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Old April 5th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #978
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^ Terrace Row townhouses as viewed from Kilbourn Avenue.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 06:20 AM   #979
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^ Terrace Row townhouses as viewed from Kilbourn Avenue.
Thanks, Mark. Very typical of the dominant architectural paradigm for low-rise residential infill in Milwaukee. What will it replace?
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Old April 5th, 2007, 06:40 AM   #980
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Those look amazing but really out of place. They look like they'd fit in almost anywhere further up the East Side or west of downtown but tey're way too small for that street. Almost all of the buildings along Kilbourn are eight or more stories in order to play off the width of the boulevard. To have a three story rowhouse, while significantly better than an empty lot doesn't fit this pattern. And yes, I know that there is another set of rowhouses on Kilbourn but they're not exactly urban masterpieces for what was designed to be Milwaukee's showplace boulevard. Speaking of that, is there anything happening on any of those lots along Kilbourn west of the river. You'd think that the city would put a lot more effort into the completion of and massing of Kilbourn. When it was designed in the 1920's, it was meant to be the showcase of the city and was started well, too.

The book "American Urban Architecture- Catalysts in the design of cities" has an interesting chapter about Kilbourn Ave. and why it has failed as a civic gateway. It's all online, you don't even have to go downtown to get it anymore: http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?do...&brand=ucpress
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