The public-private effort to revitalize a former industrial area along Milwaukee’s riverfront has earned a 2004 Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Award from the Waterfront Center. Milwaukee’s Beerline Neighborhood was recognized by the international group at a recent conference in Milwaukee. The Department of City Development (DCD) and its private architectural design partner in the project, Vetter Denk Architecture, received the award for its work to redevelop industrial riverfront property into an innovative mix of housing, recreation and public space.
Milwaukee’s Beerline Neighborhood is located on a 1.5-acre site along the western banks of the Milwaukee River. Once an abandoned industrial location featuring railroad tracks to the breweries, the Beerline Neighborhood is now a thriving residential area. Homes along this section of the river feature rooftop garden terraces and energy-conserving systems. The Milwaukee Rowing Club facility serves as an anchor and features a green grass roof. The Riverwalk and the Booth Street Stairs link urban residents to the river, their neighbors and nearby amenities.
“We are honored to receive this recognition and share this achievement with the nearby residents, businesses and stakeholders who provided their input in the planning process,” said DCD Commissioner Rocky Marcoux. “We thank Vetter Denk Architecture for their innovative approach to the design of this urban revitalization project.”
John Vetter, principal of Vetter Denk Architecture, said, “We’re honored to bring this international design award to our hometown. The City of Milwaukee can be proud that it is recognized as one of a handful of cosmopolitan destinations also honored by the Waterfront Center this year, including Vancouver, Toronto, San Francisco, Taiwan, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis.”
“The Beerline Neighborhood is a great example of what we call ‘pride of place’ – the people who bought River Homes actually got together socially before the condos were even built and started to get to know their neighbors,” said Vetter Denk Architecture principal Kelly Denk. “They are all so proud to be a part of the diversity of residents and public uses make this a true neighborhood.”
Since 1997, more than 650 new housing units have been completed or are under construction in the Beerline Neighborhood, representing nearly $128 million in new investment.