Graef team’s design selected for Lakefront Gateway Plaza

Would connect lakefront to central business district

A team led by Graef was selected as the winner of a design competition for the Lakefront Gateway Plaza.

The design for the Lakefront Gateway Plaza project that was created by a team led by Milwaukee-based engineering firm Graef was selected by a group of downtown and lakefront “stakeholders” as the winning design for the project, officials announced today.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the winning design by the Graef team.

A team led by Graef was selected as the winner of a design competition for the Lakefront Gateway Plaza.
A team led by Graef was selected as the winner of a design competition for the Lakefront Gateway Plaza.

The Lakefront Gateway Plaza is planned for a 1.5-acre site between the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Summerfest grounds. The plaza will be bounded by Michigan Street, Lincoln Memorial Drive, Art Museum Drive and the future extension of Clybourn Boulevard.

The vision for the project is to create a “world class” plaza that improves the connection between the downtown central business district and the lakefront.

The preliminary cost estimate for the project is $26 million. A combination of private donations and government grants are expected to be necessary to pay for the project. The city has already set aside $3 million in tax incremental financing for the project.

The Graef team is based in Milwaukee and includes PFS Studio of Vancouver, British Columbia, Rinka│Chung of Milwaukee, Dan Euser WaterArchitecture of Richmond Hill, Ontario, and locally-based NEWaukee.

That team was one of 24 groups from around the country that submitted a response to the city and county’s request for qualifications and one of the four finalists making formal presentations.

“We have an opportunity to add a beautiful, defining space to the downtown portion of Milwaukee’s lakefront.  It is a site that will add energy and connections,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “Most importantly, the Lakefront Gateway Plaza can become a site that draws people and activity year-round – maximizing the significance of one of the greatest locations in our city.”

The jury that reviewed the four final teams for the Lakefront Gateway Plaza was made up for various stakeholders and design professionals.  The members are: Joel Brennan of Discovery World, Sandy Botcher of Northwestern Mutual, John Dargle of Milwaukee County Parks, Dan Keegan of the Milwaukee Art Museum, David Marcus of the Betty Brinn Museum, Ron San Felippo of the Historic Third Ward Association, Don Smiley of Summerfest, Greg Uhen of Eppstein Uhen Architects, Joseph Ullrich of US Bank, Teig Whaley-Smith of Milwaukee County, Beth Weirick of the Milwaukee Downtown BID, Bob Greenstreet UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Polly Morris of the Milwaukee Arts Board and Greg Patin of the Department of City Development.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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