Archives for October 2015

Nov. 4 Annual Meeting to Feature HWTN Co-Founder, Preservationist Barbara Elsner

Historic preservationist, Frank Lloyd Wright conservationist and Historic Water Tower Neighborhood co-founder Barbara Elsner will speak at our annual meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 4, giving us her perspective on our group’s past, present and future.

Elsner copyBarbara, one of a number of residents involved in founding HWTN in 1973, has been a leader in historic preservation, with a focus on our neighborhood and Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Barbara and her husband Bob, a former HWTN president, live in a restored Wright home.

Wednesday’s meeting also includes election of HWTN’s 2016 officers and trustees. All HWTN members are eligible to vote.

The meeting takes place in the Marcia Coles Community Room in the Lake Park Pavilion. Come between 6:30 p.m. and 7 for refreshments prior to the meeting courtesy of Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro.

HWTN opposes demolition of Historic Lake Park concrete arch footbridge over Ravine Road or replacement with modern steel bridge

Milwaukee County has recently determined that the historic, iconic and beautiful (1905-’06) Lake Park Concrete Arch Footbridge over Ravine Road is in poor shape, and Parks Department officials are considering a range of alternatives:

  • Repairing the current bridge
  • Replacing the bridge with one with the same historic design and features
  • Replacing the bridge with a modern, steel-girder bridge
  • Demolishing the bridge without replacement

LakeParkBridgeHorseHistoric Water Tower Neighborhood is opposed to replacing the historic Lake Park Arch Footbridge over Ravine Road in Lake Park with a prefabricated steel truss bridge or any other architectural style different from the current bridge. HWTN also opposes simply demolishing the bridge.

Here is the resolution passed by the HWTN Executive Committee in October:

 

Whereas, The historic Lake Park Arch Footbridge over Ravine Road is considered an iconic and beautiful feature of Lake Park, one of Milwaukee County’s most popular parks;

Whereas, The bridge is of significant historic importance, having been designed by the prominent Milwaukee architecture firm of Ferry & Clas, which also designed Milwaukee’s Central Library, the Pabst Mansion and the Lake Park Pavilion;

Whereas, The bridge is an integral part of Lake Park, designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York City’s famed Central Park;

Whereas, The Lake Park Arch Footbridge over Ravine Road provides needed circulation through the park, connecting the north and south portions of Lake Park near the bluff and crosses Ravine Road, enabling north-south passage through the park without returning to Lake Drive;

Whereas, The bridge is used extensively by walkers, bikers, joggers, birders and others from around Milwaukee County;

Whereas, The City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Guidelines for the North Point North neighborhood state that, for Lake Park, “every attempt should be made to maintain the historic vehicular and pedestrian circulation system in the park including drives, paths, stairways and bridges. New parking areas, roadways, paths or bridges should be designed so as to be compatible with the historic character of the park”;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, That the Historic Water Tower Neighborhood opposes replacing the historic Lake Park Arch Footbridge over Ravine Road in Lake Park with a prefabricated steel truss bridge or any other architectural style different from the current bridge. We also oppose simply demolishing the bridge. HWTN encourages the county to consider and act promptly on the other two alternatives outlined in the July 2015 inspection report on the bridge — either repairing the current bridge or replacing it with a new reinforced concrete arch bridge that matches the dimensions and aesthetic and architectural features of the current bridge.

Learn more about the issue by reading the county’s engineering study of the bridge, which discusses the bridge’s current condition and outlines several options and costs for each; and by reading this history of the bridge.

The styles of modern bridges being considered to replace the Historic Lake Park Arch Footbridge over Ravine Road

The styles of modern bridges being considered to replace the Historic Lake Park Arch Footbridge over Ravine Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milwaukee County Parks is holding a public meeting on the issue this Thursday, October 15 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in O’Donnell Park’s Miller Brewing Room at 910 E. Michigan Street. There will be free parking. Public input is welcome, so consider going and telling county officials your thoughts on this matter.

These are the county officials who will be making the decision on the bridge, and their contact information, for those interested in voicing their opinions on the issue via phone or email:

The BizTimes recently published this interesting article on the issue, and OnMilwaukee.com ran a good story, too.

 

UPDATES

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Time to renew your membership for 2016

HWTN’s annual membership period runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 — so if you haven’t renewed for the 2016 year, please don’t delay any longer and do it today.

quillIf you’ve been a member, you know the many benefits you’ll get from joining, including the opportunity to have an impact on important neighborhood issues, meet your neighbors, learn about valuable home-improvement tax credits and participate in historic preservation efforts.

Another major benefit — you’re entitled to join us at our annual, members-only holiday party. This year, it’ll be held again at member Andy Nunemaker’s beautiful N. Terrace Ave. mansion. You don’t want to miss this party, bout you need to be a member to register and attend.

To renew your membership or join for the first time, go to our membership webpage and sign up online or download and mail in our form. Either way, don’t delay.