Graham Kilmer

Kinn Hotel Plan Gets First Approval

Plan for hotel on North Broadway gets historic preservation approval on third try.

By - Aug 5th, 2019 04:50 pm
Rendering of the Kinn Hotel. Rendering by Vetter Architects.

Rendering of the Kinn Hotel. Rendering by Vetter Architects.

Plans for the proposed Kinn Hotel in a historic building at 602 N. Broadway have finally been approved.

Developer Charles Bailey went before the Historic Preservation Commission with new plans for his hotel that are significantly downsized from his original proposal and finally gained approval.

Bailey originally proposed building a five-story addition on top of the four story building. This was shut down by the commission. The initial proposal, at five stories, I almost fell out of my chair,” said Ald. Robert Bauman, the local alderman and a member of the commission. “I thought that absolutely looked awful.”

After that Bailey came back with a three-story addition. That too failed to win approval. This time around, as Urban Milwaukee reported, the proposal includes a single story addition consisting of a rooftop deck and bar.

The deck and bar are significantly set back and not visible from the street. This was important to commission staff and members. “It is pushed back enough that it does not interrupt the rhythm of the street or the streetscape,” said historic preservation staffer Tim AskinHe added, “We hardly have any other block in the city where the roofline is that perfectly straight across.”

Bauman had previously said changing the roofline in anyway was a dealbreaker. Most of the block was originally built as one structure in 1868 and called the Lawrence Block. Don Arenson, an owner of an adjoining building to the proposed Kinn building, spoke in support of the modified proposal from Bailey at the commission meeting Monday.

Bauman did question why the addition was being built with modern materials like metal panels instead of masonry, as historic preservation staff would prefer. Architect John Vetter responded, “I think we just feel that the handshake between new and modern architecture is actually more relevant than trying to kinda duplicate in kind of an unauthentic way.”


Three-Story Addition Renderings

Five-Story Addition Renderings and Building Photo

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Categories: Real Estate

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