Milwaukee Makeover Project
Imagine bringing together a group of talented architects and designers with Milwaukee homeowners from “middle-market” neighborhoods to explore how the look of their basic homes can be transformed through quality design. That’s the idea behind the Milwaukee Makeover Project.
This unique effort aims to improve modest Milwaukee homes by connecting homeowners to the design community. These homes – many built in the 1950s and 1960s – provide solid housing, but often lack visual appeal. By encouraging strong design and high-quality standard setting improvements, the Milwaukee Makeover Project hopes to add beauty and stimulate greater reinvestment from adjacent homeowners.
So here’s what happened….twelve architects and designers worked with nine homeowners on Saturday June 26th – first visiting their homes, and then participating in a design charrette at the UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Each family worked with an architect to come up with an exterior makeover that would add substantial curb appeal and value to their home. The designs were all exciting – often small-scale, but nonetheless significant transformations.
But this was not simply an exercise in design. Staff from the HNI neighborhoods will work with the homeowners to implement their projects. NIDC is also helping advance the implementation by providing rebates based on homeowner’s income. And the HNI is also working with lenders to develop a pool of low interest loans to support this project. More charrettes will be planned for late summer and early fall.
Guest Post By: Michael Schubert
Michael Schubert is currently a consultant to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. He has over thirty five years of experience in community development, working for the last 18 years as a consultant to municipal governments, nonprofits, and foundations. He also served as the Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Housing during the first term of Mayor Richard M. Daley.