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I appear to be the minority here, but I am reallllly starting to not like this project. The design is really clunky. The styles are haphazardly thrown together and blend - not at all together. It's a heavy-handed attempt at historic preservation and stacking old upon new (like Soldier Field, which is a disaster). Scottish Rite is not an appealing building, but I do like the tower. Together, just no. It's an ugly Frankenstein project. Sorry, that's my opinion.
 

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I don't think they are really trying to blend the two styles together seamlessly. The two styles contrast one another and that is what I think they are going for. The void between the original building and the new tower splits the two up and, when viewing the renderings, you eyes see two different buildings. Idk how that will transfer to real life but I really like the project. It's bold, it's different, it's awesome.
 

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I thought people might be interested in these project elevation diagrams which show this project's size and height in relation to some of the other structures around it. I know I have not seen this published before, I found them in the files of the Historic Preservation Commission which has a hearing on the project on the 13th. As you might be able to tell I also changed the title of this forum to include a height of 134' which one of the files shows to be the overall height of the tower.

 

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born again cyclist
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^ uhhhh, there's pretty much no way that an 18 story building is only gonna stand 134' tall. I don't buy it. And the drawings posted above indicate that it's likely over 200' tall, when compared against neighboring building heights.
 
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134' tall uh yeah right I don't even think that's possible haha.! If it's only that tall then I wouldn't even build the thing.
 

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^ uhhhh, there's pretty much no way that an 18 story building is only gonna stand 134' tall. I don't buy it. And the drawings posted above indicate that it's likely over 200' tall, when compared against neighboring building heights.
Excuse me, you are right. I re-looked at the plans and it says 234'. I don't know what I was looking at the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I'd guess it to be around 220' only because we know for a fact that NML is 550' and looking at the diagram, it appears to be about 40% of the height of NML. That puts us at 220'. That's the best I've got, but I agree that 134' doesn't make sense. 134'/18 = 7.44 feet/floor.

Cocory??? I'd take a 134' building over nothing any day (assuming it's well designed)
 

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born again cyclist
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Excuse me, you are right. I re-looked at the plans and it says 234'. I don't know what I was looking at the first time.
That makes A LOT more sense.

So at 234', that's roughly the same height as cathedral place. Not bad.
 
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Yeah maybe good for the Madison area. It's just Milwaukee is in a spree of building 300'ft or higher right now and it would be nice to see that stay alive. Just feel like a 134' building would be out of place considering where it's at.
 

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Yeah maybe good for the Madison area. It's just Milwaukee is in a spree of building 300'ft or higher right now and it would be nice to see that stay alive. Just feel like a 134' building would be out of place considering where it's at.
Shorter urban infill is just as important to the urban fabric as are 300' skyscrapers. Besides, not every new building can be as tall as we would wish them to be. Market forces just do not allow for that.
 

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To me anyways, 300' ft is a pretty arbitrary number. 234 ft (depending on where) makes a big difference in the skyline. It might not visible from the lake looking west, but I imagine that infill will certainly make an impression at street level. For example, Cathedral Place is not overly tall but is a very well designed building with some of the best modern architecture in Milwaukee. I'd honestly take more of that over the significantly taller 411 E Wisconsin. Perched between significantly taller buildings, (if built) the Masonic will offer a very interesting urban perspective within an emerging skyline "canyon". The roof deck (even more than Kimpton) will show off the urban density of the city.

We can gripe about floor count all we want (and still be mad about the Westin and 833), but I'll take great design over height every time. I think Westin still could have really made a statement with a bold design even at 9 floors. Otherwise, you kind of needed that height to make up for the rather cookie cutter design. If it had approached 833 in height, I think they'd be better positioned to remain relevant into the future. In contrast, I believe Masonic brings both height and unique design - while making a statement to the rest of Milwaukee hoteliers that good enough is not good enough anymore.
 

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Yeah maybe good for the Madison area. It's just Milwaukee is in a spree of building 300'ft or higher right now and it would be nice to see that stay alive. Just feel like a 134' building would be out of place considering where it's at.
We're all well aware of your astounding opinions on urban development in Milwaukee.
 

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I think those heights are awesome for that site, especially when you consider that they're building it through another building. This type of height and design is what I think I was hoping Westin would be. It's also definitely going to peek through the bigger buildings around it from a lot of angles, which I personally like. Every viewing angle of downtown will be unique and have a few different buildings pop up, including, hopefully soon, the Masonic Center Hotel.

Plus, it looks like there are some really good development opportunities along Wells, Kilbourn, and State, and pushing that lakefront core development toward those sites is a big win in my book.

Side note- in the 2nd elevation picture that Splat posted, down in the bottom right, 2nd building in. Is that the little concrete box that NML tore down?
 

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Side note- in the 2nd elevation picture that Splat posted, down in the bottom right, 2nd building in. Is that the little concrete box that NML tore down?
That's the existing building on the northwest corner of the block that houses Whiskey Bar.
 

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I think these elevations are great. Honestly, and assuming the adjacent buildings have been drawn reasonably accurately, this proposal is actually feeling taller than I had previously imagined it might. it is standing up pretty well next to the NML North Tower (which I continue to strongly doubt is actually the 395' it is posted as on Wiki.)

I am also firmly in the camp that really likes the mix of the unique modern tower on top of the classic building below. Obviously, the north face is set well back from the street, and the west face is also set back enough that, to me, the two pieces work more like 2 separate buildings. I really hope this proposal gets out of the ground, so to speak!
 

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I think these elevations are great. Honestly, and assuming the adjacent buildings have been drawn reasonably accurately, this proposal is actually feeling taller than I had previously imagined it might. it is standing up pretty well next to the NML North Tower (which I continue to strongly doubt is actually the 395' it is posted as on Wiki.)

I am also firmly in the camp that really likes the mix of the unique modern tower on top of the classic building below. Obviously, the north face is set well back from the street, and the west face is also set back enough that, to me, the two pieces work more like 2 separate buildings. I really hope this proposal gets out of the ground, so to speak!
We debunked the Wiki/Emporis height of 395' a few months ago. I think it was Steely Dan that used Google Earth to map it at about 349'. RM_NM may have even confirmed with the Northwestern Mutual question submissions inbox, as well. Can't recall.
 

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born again cyclist
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^ yeah, the 395' figure is not accurate for NML north, and it likely includes measuring the building from the bottom of the lakefront bluff or some other such silliness.

RN_NM confirmed with the building's staff that it is in fact only 347' tall, which is a figure that lines up much more closely with google earth measurements and other evidence of nearby building heights.
 
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