Dave Reid

Life of Building 65 – Extraordinary & Uncertain

By - Feb 22nd, 2011 08:34 am
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Building 65 is one of Milwaukee’s greatest and least commonly known architectural treasures. Please join us this Thursday for a discussion on this history of the building, neighborhood, and an inquiry into rehabilitation. See the attached flier for more information and forward to friends and colleagues who will be interested in attending.

Life of Building 65 – Extraordinary & Uncertain

Thursday, February 24, 2011

6pm Refreshments and Networking

7pm Panel Discussion

You’re at 3533 North 27th Street. The building in front of you is shrouded in protective nets, windows are stabilized with lumber, and the landscape exhibits a dearth of human activity. Now rewind 70 years: The former A.O. Smith Research and Engineering Building, Building 65, is bustling with over 1,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 colleges and universities world-wide. Built by Chicago architects Holabird and Root (completed in 1931), this architectural feat was far ahead of its time. A masterful combination of design, engineering and business, its structure intrinsically maximized the use of light, air and space to provide an incredibly adaptable and climate-comfortable workspace for a company keen on researching and developing cutting-edge manufacturing processes and innovative machinery that would change the world.

Currently, the A.O. Smith Research and Engineering Building is within the City of Milwaukee’s Economic Development Master Plan for the development of the 30th Street Industrial Corridor and what will be known as Century City Business Park. The purpose of the Master Plan is to “create…a long term vision for returning the corridor to a major business and jobs center.” Department of City Development commissioner Rocky Marcoux has no intention of demolishing the building, but the City’s purchase of the area is by no means a promise towards the architectural preservation and/or future restoration of the building. However, Commissioner Marcoux has been active in working with the city’s preservation community and the Century City neighborhood in order to bring this incredible building back to life.

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