Bucks Unveil New Signs for Arena
Two huge signs will add life to arena, but will trees grow on concrete plaza?
The Milwaukee Bucks development arm secured approval from the City Plan Commission Monday for a number of modifications to the new arena’s exterior design. The most notable to be approved were a 15-foot tall by 85-foot long LED sign that will bend around the building’s northwest corner and a second “folly” sign, as it was called, that fans will be able to interact with in the plaza outside the arena’s eastern entrance.
The LED video board will be visible for those entering Downtown from the McKinley Ave. off-ramp on Interstate 43, as well as people headed south on N. 6th St. or east on W. Juneau Ave.
But the LED video sign won’t always be turned on. A key design feature assures that when the sign is turned off it will be transparent, according to architect Gabe Braselton of Populous. This is similar to signs installed on other new arenas including Wembley Stadium in London and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
In a response to a question from City Plan Commission member J. Allen Stokes about distracted drivers and fast moving signs, the architect noted the sign wouldn’t be running live action video and would conform to city digital sign guidelines.
The second sign, which will read “BUCKS” in large letters, is intended as a bit of place making for the large plaza being built over the former N. 4th St. Braselton stated the plaza presents “a great opportunity for not only a monument, but to create a playful sculpture.”
Unlike the digital LED ribbon that will be on the building’s second floor, the BUCKS sign will be decidedly analog and rest on the ground. Braselton noted the sign will be a great location for fans to take photos, with the east facing sign reading BUCKS to those approaching the arena, and the sign’s west face including seating built on it where fans can sit and interact with the sign and the scene. The seating component will be built of wood.
Perhaps the sign’s playfulness explains the use of the term “folly,” which was never explained. (Any experts on this please share your thoughts in comments section.)
Construction of the $524 million arena complex, which is currently known as the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, pending a naming rights deal, is well underway. Learn more about the arena project from our most recent installment of Friday Photos tracking the arena’s construction progress.
Not shown in the new renderings is a skywalk that will cross W. Juneau Ave. from the new parking garage to the arena. That skywalk will be immediately east of the new LED sign.
The commission unanimously recommended the design changes for approval to the full council.
Will The Trees Grow?
Newly appointed Plan Commission member Preston Cole, who also serves as the head of the Department of Neighborhood Services, questioned the Bucks on their plans to plant so many trees in the concrete plaza. Cole cited failed examples of this, including the trees ringing the parking garage currently serving the BMO Harris Bradley Center and Milwaukee Area Technical College, that have never grown beyond a few inches tall.
Cole cited the 16th Street pedestrian mall in downtown Denver as an example of a place where trees in concrete that have grown successfully to a significant size.
Why does Cole know so much about trees? Prior to rising to the top of DNS, Cole ran the Forestry Services division of the city’s Public Works Department.
More about the New Bucks Arena
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Live Block Eliminates Performance Space - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 12th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Panel Okays Live Block Shrinkage - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 4th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks’ Live Block Connector Approved - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 21st, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Arena 68% Complete - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 21st, 2017
- Bucks’ Health Clinic Will Soon Open - Graham Kilmer - Nov 9th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Unveil Arena Parking Garage - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 31st, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Arena On Budget, On Schedule - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 5th, 2017
- Friday Photos: Live Block Work Starts in Deer District - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 22nd, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Top Off New Arena - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 24th, 2017
- Photo Gallery: Touring The New Bucks Arena - Graham Kilmer - Aug 1st, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Inside New Bucks Arena - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 6th, 2017
- Friday Photos: The Deer District Rises - Jeramey Jannene - May 12th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Council Approves Arena, Hammes Design Changes - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 1st, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Committee Okays Two Downtown Designs - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 22nd, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Unveil New Signs for Arena - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 14th, 2017
- Friday Photos: Arena Rises from Frozen Tundra - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 16th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Live Block is a Slam Dunk - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 5th, 2016
- Friday Photos: New Bucks Arena From Above - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 7th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Council Okays Streetcar to Bucks Arena - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 6th, 2016
- Friday Photos: Bucks Arena Work Prep - Jeramey Jannene - May 27th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Arena Design Approved - Jeramey Jannene - May 17th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: How Urban is Bucks New Arena? - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 18th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: New Bucks Arena Approved - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 22nd, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: Is Abele Dumping the Marcus Center? - Bruce Murphy - Jul 28th, 2015
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bucks Arena Winners and Losers - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 17th, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: How Abele Bailed Out Walker - Bruce Murphy - Jun 11th, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: Abele Plan for Bucks Arena Won’t Work - Bruce Murphy - Jun 4th, 2015
- Back in the News: Bucks Bailout Gets Even Bigger - Bruce Murphy - Jun 1st, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: Arena Plan is Massive Tax Shift to Milwaukee - Bruce Murphy - May 29th, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: MMAC Plays Hardball on Bucks Arena - Bruce Murphy - May 5th, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: State Bucks Arena Plan Fleeces Milwaukee - Bruce Murphy - Apr 23rd, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: The Secret Tax Subsidy Society - Bruce Murphy - Apr 14th, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: Should City/County Donate More to NBA Arena? - Bruce Murphy - Mar 24th, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: Bucks Owners Must Build Without Subsidy - Bruce Murphy - Mar 10th, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: How Could Walker Refuse Incredible Deal? - Bruce Murphy - Feb 12th, 2015
- Murphy’s Law: Foundation Helps Herb Kohl Get $20 Million Windfall - Bruce Murphy - Dec 18th, 2014
- Murphy’s Law: How Will NBA Arena Benefit the City? - Bruce Murphy - Dec 2nd, 2014
- Murphy’s Law: Dispute Over Bucks Arena Goes National - Bruce Murphy - Oct 23rd, 2014
- Murphy’s Law: 10 Reasons To Build Bucks Arena on Wisconsin Ave. - Bruce Murphy - Oct 8th, 2014
- Murphy’s Law: How UWM Deal Will Affect the Bucks - Bruce Murphy - Jul 3rd, 2014
- Murphy’s Law: Four Plans to Save the Bucks - Bruce Murphy - May 15th, 2014
- Murphy’s Law: 10 Key Issues in NBA Arena Debate - Bruce Murphy - Apr 24th, 2014
- Murphy’s Law: $1 Billion Needed for Milwaukee Facilities - Bruce Murphy - Dec 12th, 2013
- Murphy’s Law: New Moves to Bail Out the Bucks - Bruce Murphy - Oct 15th, 2013