Dedicated on Veterans Day 1957, the Milwaukee War Memorial Center remains one of the city’s most iconic and visible landmarks. Located on Lake Michigan adjacent to the Milwaukee Art Museum, the War Memorial Center site and Milwaukee County Veterans Park to the north may be getting more new looks and updates down the road.
A steering committee representing the War Memorial Center, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Rotary and the County are reviewing a master plan for the future as they begin rebuilding parking lots north of the Center. The planning effort is being supported by a grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan. The Sigma Group led the planning team recommending several ideas, according to a December 2016 story in the Milwaukee Business Journal.
The master plan would look at a variety of options to integrate the larger vision of the Lakefront from Michigan Avenue to McKinley Park while restoring habitat and reducing lakeshore water pollution. Plans and recommendations include:
- Converting parking lot area near Lake Michigan to green space with consideration of a “healing garden” and other veteran monuments and memorials
- Building a replacement lot to the west in a sloping lawn area
- Improving the entry drive and introducing handicap parking for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Incorporating green infrastructure such as bioswales landscaping to catch and clean stormwater
In the Business Journal story, Sigma Group senior engineer Bob Peschel emphasized the opportunity for improvements to the War Memorial and Veterans Park entrances, including more pedestrian-friendly walkways and plaza areas. The plans also recommends more inviting walkways along the lakefront.
The War Memorial plans were presented to the Milwaukee County Board in December 2016 and will be considered as part of other lakefront projects like the Lakefront Gateway and Couture high-rise development.
Sigma is collaborating on the project with Milwaukee-based consultants SEH, Stormwater Solutions Engineering and the UW-Milwaukee School of Planning, so check back here for more details.