Rachel Quednau

Water and Knapp

It’s almost an empty wasteland. It can’t get worse, but how much can it improve?

By - Feb 26th, 2015 01:40 pm
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It’s almost an empty wasteland. It can’t get worse, but how much can it improve? Back to the full article.

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14 thoughts on “Intersection: Water and Knapp”

  1. Dave Reid says:

    I’d love to see of the parking lots turned into a “pod,” a place where food trucks make semi-permanent locations ringing a parking lot, like in Portland. In the long-run it would be great for the empty corners to be filled up with mixed-use buildings, with yes, residential (condo or apartments) above. Finally, the Hammes project is such a suburban design it would actually make this corner worse.

  2. Rory Bellows says:

    That Hammes proposal would turn an empty lot into an empty lot with landscaping. All of the current problems with the space would persist.

    I maintain that Milwaukee’s deserted and neglected streets, in this area in particular, are a problem of scale. The plots and buildings are so large that the developments are all monotonous and single-use, and punctuated by large swaths of underused space.

  3. Eric S says:

    Wow, that Hammes proposal is awful. That doesn’t belong anywhere in the city, let alone downtown.

    Some sort of traffic calming is vital to improve the pedestrian experience. Both streets are too wide and encourage drivers to go too fast. Curb extensions at all four corners would be a start. (BBut really curb extensions and bus bulbs should be standard practice almost everywhere.)

  4. Christopher Hillard says:

    @Dave, yes to all of that. I’ll also just throw in there that while the MSOE field isn’t exactly in line with the kind of development the City was going for, it could actually be a great asset for any condos who could sell the non-river side of the development as overlooking the sports field, which could be a real novelty. I also just want to throw in that the Cherry Street Bridge houses are among the most under appreciated in the city. Bright chrome, glass blocks, art deco sensibilities, it’s one of the best New Deal projects we got in the city and an excellent aesthetic asset for a development to build on.

  5. Gary says:

    I know there was an early East Side Turner’s Hall either proposed or actually built at that intersection in the 1880s. I’ve got some notes to that effect gleaned from the local German language press — maybe an architect’s rendering too.

  6. My outlandish suggestion, which I previously shared both with the County under Walker and the Argosy Foundation, put a globe theater replica next to the river at the northwest corner – and a Elizabethan themed shops, condos, and apartments on the northeast corner. Multiple cities have built globe replica, and it could become a summer location for area Shakespeare troops and schools to provide entertainment. The area could then host an annual Renaissance Fair as a means of attracting business.

  7. Chris says:

    The Hammes “plan” is just embarrassing. It does nothing to recognize the site’s unique features. How can a company that’s supposed to be a leading expert in real estate development be so tone deaf and blind to the opportunities present for their own headquarters?!

  8. Christopher Hillard says:

    Re: Globe, in 1916 the Society I was in back in college actually built a replica of the Globe to stage “Comedy of Errors”: http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/archives/detail.html?id=ARCHIVES_20060127002

  9. CK James says:

    Traffic does indeed fly through that area like it’s a drag racing strip. There have been countless pedestrians hit there. BECAUSE of that, I’d vote against putting a pool or daycare there.

    I think the police should set up a multi-purpose community educational facility there. It could serve as a cop shop mini-office for all the officers who already ride horseback and stand in the intersections doing crowd control 3 nights a week.

    Heck, I’d build a small stable there to keep the MPD horses as well. Let citizens check out the horses during the day, chat with officers , buy parking permits, etc. A good way for MPD to improve rapport with the public.

  10. Frank says:

    They should put a Taco Bell on the NW corner.

  11. Bill Sell says:

    Look west and notice the parking along the river. Fixing that into something pedestrian might be the first step in reviving this area. Wasting a river bank on parking (both sides of the river, truth be told) is the worst waste of this precious turf. Once a plan for the riverfront emerges, that triangle is more likely to find its tenant.

  12. I love all these ideas! Thanks for participating in the discussion. Hopefully we’ll see one of these come to fruition soon.

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