Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Winners & Great Photos of 2014 Mayor’s Design Awards

From the new Pizza Man to Radio Milwaukee to Junior House Lofts, the winners span many styles and neighborhoods. Photo Galleries of every winning design.

By - May 21st, 2014 02:53 pm

The Mayor’s Design Awards are a long-standing tradition in Milwaukee honoring projects big and small for their contribution to the built environment in Milwaukee. This year marks the 17th year of the awards, with winners from all corners of the city.

Design That Grabs You Award Winners

Great Curb Appeal; engages the street in a distinct manner; inviting  windows, welcoming entries, distinct signage; incorporates active public space, encourages informal public gathering:

The North End Phase II – 1551 N. Water St.

The second phase of The North End was a project many years in the making by the Mandel Group. It included financial help from the state and the city. The two building project (Portrait and Silhouette) added 155 apartment units to the Park East corridor.

Pizza Man – 2597 N. Downer Ave.

Pizza Man restaurant garnered much attention since the original location went down in flames in early 2010. Designed by Rinka Chung Architecture, the new Pizza Man has been a smash hit on N. Downer Ave.

Black Sheep – 216 S. 2nd St.

Black Sheep is part of the emerging S. 2nd St. dining and nightlife scene. The chic bar serves wine on tap as well as “haute dogs.” That’s right, hot dogs and wine in a high-end environment. Amazingly it works, really well. The home of Black Sheep is a 100+ year old building that was originally the Schupert-Zoeller Printing Company. The restaurant and bar opened in August 2013.

La Merenda – 125 E. National Ave.

La Merenda isn’t a new kid on the block, but they’ve been so successful that they’ve expanded. They’re one of the pioneers of high-end dining in Walker’s Point and are now reaping the rewards.

Plymouth Church – 2717 E. Hampshire St.

This Alexander Eschweiler-designed church was recently host to a $1.67 million renovation by The Kubala Washatko Architects. Just a couple days over 100 years old, the open and affirming United Church of Christ stands ready for the next 100.

Go Green Award Winners

Incorporates environmentally sustainable elements such as passive solar design, connective cooling techniques, green roof and/or low impact  design for water quality; new or retrofitted environmentally construction or design:

88Nine Radio Milwaukee – 220 E. Pittsburgh Ave.

We were on hand to watch the green roof be installed at the new headquarters of Radio Milwaukee. We also toured the site during construction to get a first hand look at many of the green features. No doubt this project is a winner.

Weber’s Garden Center – 4215 N. Green Bay Ave. 

Weber’s Garden Center won a Mayor’s Design Award for their reuse of an old sign and “a carefully crafted vision of urban agriculture and entrepreneurship.”

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors Mobile Bike Hub – 1545 S. Layton Blvd.

The Layton Boulevard West Neighbors created the mobile bike hub to provide bike service around the Silver City, Burnham Park, and Layton Park neighborhoods. The mobile hub provides bicycle education and service.

Live. Work. Play. Award Winners

Extraordinary contribution to the live/work environment; reflects the style and personality of the owner, while making a positive and sensitive contribution to the neighborhood fabric; expansion or renovation that’s harmonious with the original structure:

Milwaukee Marriott Hotel – 323 E. Wisconsin Ave.

The Marriott Hotel in East Town was built with its share of controversy, however much of that had to do with what was being torn down, rather than what was being built. The new hotel has good urban form with entrances on both E. Wisconsin Ave. and N. Milwaukee St.

King Commons IV – 2701 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

The latest King Commons phase is winning for at least the second time this year. Welford Sanders and the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation, the project owner, took home some hardware at this year’s MANDI awards. The project is the fourth phase in a string of developments that is bringing high-quality urban residences to N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Milo P. Jewett House – 800 N. Marshall St.

It’s rare that something wins a design award more than 100 years after it was built (1872), but that’s the case for this Lower East Side home. It underwent substantial renovation over the past year and today may look as good as the day it was built. The home is named after the co-owner of the Jewett and Sherman Merchant Mills building in the Historic Third Ward, home to The Wicked Hop and Collectivo. The house was at one time home to the Swedish Consulate. Today it’s the offices of the Everett Smith Group. Architect James Otto led the project, with Beyer Construction serving as the contractor.

Autumn West Safe Haven – 3410 W. Lisbon Ave.

Autumn West is a new project by Community Advocates to provide housing and supportive services to individuals who are homeless and facing mental illness. The project opened in the middle of December 2012 and houses 21 residents.

Milwaukee College Preparatory School – 1228 W. Lloyd St.

Milwaukee College Prep has one of their facilities located in the former Lloyd Street School. The charter school rehabbed and expanded the facility.

Spaces and Places Award Winners

Notable bridges, walkways, alleyways, pedestrian amenities, streetscaping, parks and gathering spots:

Three Bridges Park – 610 S. 35th St.

What was once a railyard is now an incredible park in the middle of the city. Bridging north and south, Three Bridges Park opened last year to much fanfare. Now that the plantings have sprouted the park is far more attractive. If you haven’t visited yet, you’re missing out. The name is uninspiring, but the park is not.

East Side BID Parklet – 2315-21 N. Murray Ave.

Collectivo and the Lowlands Group laid the ground work for parklets in Milwaukee with the success of their on-street bike corrals. The East Side BID coordinated the installation of the parklet (a patio in a parking space that is an extension of the sidewalk) in front of Two Bucks and Divino Wine & Dine just north of North Ave. Call it urbanism gone wild: good urban buildings beget successful restaurants which in turn overwhelms the capacity of sidewalk patios. Kudos to the city for letting the market speak and allowing the businesses to plug the meter for something other than a car to sit there. Another parklet just opened in front of Club Charlies and more are planned around the city.

Lapham Park “Life’s Garden” Mosaic – 1901 N. 6th St.

Sometimes the city just can’t help itself and gives awards to itself. In this case it’s deserved, recognizing the Life’s Garden mosaic outside of the Housing Authority’s Lapham Park Venture subsidized housing complex.

Test of Time Award Winners

Appropriate restoration or adaptive reuse, sensitive additions, renovation or expansion that is harmonious with the original structure, rehab of original facade:

Global Water Center – 247 W. Freshwater Way

The Global Water Center is a gem of a adaptive reuse project in Walker’s Point. The project is also the first project on Freshwater Way to win a Mayor’s Design Award (and hopefully not the last), although the street formerly known as Pittsburgh hosts another winner this year in 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. Built as a home for The Water Council, the building holds an accelerator for water-related companies as well as other offices (including one for the Water Council champion Greater Milwaukee Committee). It serves as a gateway to the Reed Street Yards area.

Junior House Lofts – 710 s. 3rd St.

Built in 1915 as a factory, this Walker’s Point building is now home to 50 apartments. The name is derived from the Junior House (JH) Collectibles, a Milwaukee clothing company. The project was developed by HKS Holdings, a group of young developers who have done work for a variety of projects, from Bay View (Dwell) to the Historic Third Ward (Kimpton Hotel).

Brewhouse Inn & Suites – 1215 N. 10th St.

Historic preservation and adaptive re-use is a recurring theme in this year’s Mayor’s Design Awards. The final recipient is no exception. Financed in part by the EB-5 program, the Brewhouse Inn & Suites converted the former Pabst Brewery brewhouse into an extended-stay hotel. The design award was likely sealed by the fact they left much of the brew kettles in place. Kudos to Gorman & Company and Zilber Ltd. for the continued success in redeveloping the former Pabst Brewery.

3 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Winners & Great Photos of 2014 Mayor’s Design Awards”

  1. Lisa Kennedy says:

    PLEASE list the architects and contractors when writing up the winners!!!

  2. Bill Sweeney says:

    Under Autumn West, isn’t it “safe” haven, rather than “save” haven. Also, did you mean to write “. . . houses 21 residents,” instead of restaurants.

  3. Yikes, am I allowed to blame the editor for that one? Fixed, thanks for pointing that out.

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