Jeramey Jannene

Chicago Doesn’t Always Beat Milwaukee

By - Mar 12th, 2009 08:20 pm

Too often we, as Milwaukeeans, are too quick to assume all the good ideas in Milwaukee are trickling up from Chicago.  That Chicago gets the latest trends, fashions, fast food restaurants (see: Sonic), and other soon-to-be-passing fads before we do.

Of course that’s not always the case, with the Quadracci Pavilion being the best example.  You of course know that building better for the world renown architect that designed it, Santiago Calatrava.

There is something else in downtown Milwaukee that we beat Chicago to, the riverwalk.  Chicago has really only been building out a riverwalk system since just before the turn of the millenium, while Milwaukee has been working on such a system since the 1980s.

Chicago is working to expand their system this year, hoping to complete portions near Michigan Avenue by June.

Things aren’t finished in Milwaukee either, this year we should finally see the construction of the segment connecting the Brewer’s Point Apartments with Lakefront Brewery and Trostel Square and a segment with the new construction of The Edge.  The Aloft Hotel will include an accompanying RiverWalk segment as the building rises. With time, we’ll also see a large expansion of the RiverWalk as The North End “Neighborhood by Design” comes together.

Now let’s just get rid of this cold weather, so we can get back to using the RiverWalk.

Categories: Real Estate

5 thoughts on “Chicago Doesn’t Always Beat Milwaukee”

  1. Steve says:

    That’s a good observation, Jeramey. Not only has Chicago been slow to create riverwalk connections, it allowed the Sun-Times to put a hideous surface parking lot along a key stretch of riverfront just a bit west of the Merchandise Mart. In Milwaukee, it’d be unfathomable, but without a tradition of riverwalks in Chicago, it was allowed to happen.

  2. Jeff says:

    True, but … Chicago’s riverwalk is relatively spacious, with a consistent and timeless look to it, and concrete construction. Milwaukee’s, by comparison, feels flimsy and temporary, and the design changes from area to area. If only the city had gone ahead with its original riverwalk plan, which was pitched during the City Beautiful movement in the1890s.

  3. Dave Reid says:

    @Jeff I like how each area of the Riverwalk has its own feel. What it does need though is more activation. The Third Ward is seeing more bars/restaurants but the downtown section really needs those uses already. And a couple spots on the Beerline would be nice.

  4. Steve says:

    I don’t see Sonic as a “good idea” from Chicago. Fast food chains just make Milwaukee look like every other major city.

  5. Jeramey Jannene says:

    @Steve I was referring to it tongue-in-cheek.

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