Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Symphony Center To Get New Sign This Weekend

Socially distant entertainment on Wisconsin Avenue this weekend.

By - May 6th, 2020 06:34 pm
Warner marquee sign at the Bradley Symphony Center. Sign rendering by Poblocki. Building rendering by Kahler Slater.

Warner marquee sign at the Bradley Symphony Center. Sign rendering by Poblocki. Building rendering by Kahler Slater.

While it’s going to be months at the earliest before you can take in a show at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra‘s new home, the organization will be putting on a show this weekend.

A new vertical marquee will be installed above the lobby entrance of the Bradley Symphony Center at 212 W. Wisconsin Ave.

It’s not the cherry on top of the $89 million project, but it is quite the sign. Hundreds of lights cover the approximately 52-feet-tall and 10-feet-wide sign.

Designed and manufactured by Poblocki Sign Company, the sign mirrors one that was on the building almost 90 years ago when the theater opened as the Grand Warner Theatre. And with that, it’ll display “WARNER” in lights, not “BRADLEY” after whom the building will now be named. The project’s financing relies on historic preservation tax credits that require alterations reflect the building’s historic period of significance.

A horizontal marquee sign, 32 feet in length, 13 feet in height, will ultimately be installed underneath the new vertical sign and honor the Bradley name alongside the Warner theater chain.

Intended to honor the late Peg Bradley (1894-1978), the complex’s name comes as a result of over $52 million in donations from her grandson David and his wife Julia Uihlein, her granddaughter Lynde Uihlein, her late daughter’s namesake Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation and The Lynde and Harry Bradley FoundationHarry and Peg Bradley married in 1926. A ceremony was held in February to unveil the new name.

Design on the project is being led by Kahler Slater. General contracting is led by CD Smith. Construction on the project has continued despite the pandemic. The complicated project involved moving a 600-ton wall 35 feet east, replacing a two-story building with a glassy lobby and redeveloping much of the 12-story office tower.

The complex is scheduled to open this fall with the first show scheduled for October. MSO is moving to the redeveloped theater as part of an effort to improve the fiscal sustainability of the organization by controlling its own schedule, deriving additional rental revenue and establishing an endowment.

The theater is one of four downtown to get a new sign in recent years, with the Pabst, Riverside and Turner Hall buildings also receiving new historically-inspired signs.

February Interior Photos

January Exterior Photos


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One thought on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Symphony Center To Get New Sign This Weekend”

  1. LittleFrog17 says:

    Warner Theater at the Bradley Symphony Center? Is that its full name?

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