2021 Mayor’s Design Awards Announced
From big to small, the mayor picks 25 winners in 10 different aldermanic districts.
The annual City of Milwaukee Mayor’s Design Awards were virtual for the second straight year, but the projects are no less real.
“At its core, these awards have always been about the future,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in a video broadcast from the Walnut Way Conservation Corp’s Innovations and Wellness Commons development. “This is about the fact that people are investing in our community because they believe in our community.”
A total of 25 projects won awards, covering 10 of the city’s 15 aldermanic districts. The projects range from very big, like the 25-story BMO Tower, to rather small, like the vacant-lot-turned-market Vliet Street Oasis.
The mayor was joined by UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning interim dean Nancy Frank. She said the projects represent far more than economic capital; they represent social capital, intellectual capital and cultural capital.
Both Barrett and Frank pined for a 2022 return to the well-attended event at the architecture school’s building. Frank and the school also had an announcement to make: a new master of urban design program. “We are really excited about this new degree program,” she said.
The Department of City Development manages the awards program for the mayor. “I literally could not do this without them,” said Barrett.
The 2021 awards this year were divided into five categories: Filled-In, Spaces and Places, Small Gems, Test of Time, Design That Grabs You
The following projects exemplify urban infill by redeveloping challenging sites with new construction that repair critical gaps in the urban fabric while enhancing their neighborhoods and contributing to the character of their surroundings.
- Innovations and Wellness Commons – 1609 W. North Ave. – Mayer-Helminiak Architects
- Clarke Square Apartments – 2330 W. Mineral St. and 918 S. 24th St. – Dimension IV Madison Design Group
- Five Fifty Ultra Lofts – 550 W. Juneau Ave. – Engberg Anderson Architects
- Timber Lofts – 300 W. Florida St. – Engberg Anderson Architects
Spaces and Places
The following projects have found unique opportunities to contribute to the character of their neighborhoods by creating or enhancing streets and public spaces that engage the public, facilitate community gathering, and make the city a more beautiful and interesting place.
- Light the Hoan – Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge – Philips Signify
- Milwaukee Christian Center Youth Artists United Mural – 1320 W. Burnham St. – Tia Richardson
- Vliet Street Oasis – 3743 W. Vliet St.
- Southgate Playfield – 3350 S. 25th St. – SmithGroup / Zimmerman Architectural Studios
The following neighborhood scale projects have displayed design excellence by renovating small commercial buildings in a pedestrian friendly way and having an outsized impact on the quality of the urban environment.
- Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space – 1920 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. – Galbraith Carnahan Architects
- 5 Points Art Gallery and Studios – 3514 N. Port Washington Ave. – Workshop Architects
- Paloma Taco and Tequila – 5419 W. North Ave. – David Koscielniak
- The Bindery – 347 E. Ward St. – Galbraith Carnahan Architects
- Urbal Tea – 3060 S. 13th St. – Tredo Group
Test of Time
The following projects have added value to the city by restoring or reusing their properties in a way that preserves and enhances the character of their neighborhoods and reinforces the traditional neighborhood fabric. These projects will help to preserve the city’s built environment and architectural legacy for future generations.
- The National Block – 425 W. National Ave. – Continuum Architects + Planners
- Duet Resource Group Experience Center – 224 S. 1st St. – Russell LaFrambois III
- Wheel & Sprocket – 187 E. Becher St. – Russell LaFrambois III
- 3728 Fratney Street – 3728 N. Fratney St. – Dan Beyer Architects
- Bader Bank Building – 3338 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. – American Design, Inc.
- Bradley Symphony Center – 212 W. Wisconsin Ave. – Kahler Slater
Design That Grabs You
The following projects have made exciting and important contributions to the urban environment by respecting the context of their surroundings while raising the bar for major development and contemporary architecture in the City of Milwaukee.
- Villard Commons – 3621 W. Villard Ave. – Korb + Associates Architects
- Good Hope Library / Fortitude Apartments – 7717 W. Good Hope Rd. – Engberg Anderson Architects
- The Yards – 205 W. Oregon St. – RINKA
- KinetiK – 2160 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. – Korb + Associates Architects
- Huron Building – 511 N. Broadway – Engberg Anderson Architects
- BMO Tower – 790 N. Water St. – Kahler Slater
Editor’s note: If the information was available, we included the project architect or designer.
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Read more about Mayor's Design Awards here