Jeramey Jannene

Who Wants To Design Downtown’s Largest Mural?

Milwaukee Downtown looking for the mural that makes Milwaukee famous.

By - Aug 19th, 2020 10:53 am
Schlitz Powerhouse mural site. Rendering by RINKA.

Schlitz Powerhouse mural site. Rendering by RINKA.

Want to make your mark on Milwaukee?

Milwaukee Downtown and the owners of the Schlitz Park office complex are offering up a 9,600-square-foot wall, and $50,000, to an artist with a vision for how to honor the city and the brewery-turned-office-complex.

The project partners issued a request for proposals for a mural to be added to the south-facing, 80-foot-by-120-foot wall on the south side of the former Schlitz Brewing powerhouse.

The mural, part of a bigger plan to improve the complex, has two stated goals according to the RFP. One, it should create a sense of destination and arrival at Schlitz Park. Two, it should celebrate the “rich, storied history of Milwaukee and Schlitz Park.”

“Blending the two goals together into one cohesive mural is strongly encouraged,” says the RFP.

The property evolved over a century to become one of the world’s largest breweries before Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company closed in 1982. It was then redeveloped into an office complex.

The new owners of the complex, Crestlight Capital and TGP Real Estate, are undertaking a $6 million plan to renovate many of the common spaces. Plans include a new plaza, revamped signage and a new operator for the historic Brown Bottle restaurant. The investors acquired the property, and its 775,000 square feet of leasable space, for approximately $110 million in 2019. It is currently 92 percent occupied.

The wall is currently adorned by a Schlitz Park logo, with the slogan “the best of both worlds.” The Milwaukee Bucks, one of 31 tenants, had a banner of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker on the wall for a period when the team unveiled its new green-and-white color scheme and jerseys.

The new mural will be visible to more than the 4,000 employees in the office park. The windowless-wall is visible from N. Water St. across the Milwaukee River.

The Schlitz Park piece would be the biggest mural commissioned to date by the business improvement district. The organization has systematically collaborated with property owners in recent years to cover Downtown in public art.

Two large pieces were completed in July and October of last year and new pieces were commissioned this year from artists Ken Brown and Jaime Brown.

Milwaukee Downtown commissioned new, temporary pieces by Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Della Wells and Brad Pruitt for the Democratic National Convention that were unveiled two weeks ago.

Proposals for this mural are due September 15th, 2020.


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