Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic
Press Release

Fresh Conversations to Begin on the Future of Downtown Lakefront and O’Donnell Park

Discussions Between Milwaukee Art Museum and Milwaukee County Aim to Create Public-to-Public Partnership That Serves All

By - Mar 24th, 2015 04:20 pm

Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, along with Supervisors Gerry Broderick and Patricia Jursik, today unveiled a new vision for Milwaukee’s lakefront that builds on the success of the historic War Memorial/Milwaukee Art Museum agreement through discussions of an innovative public-to-public partnership.

A resolution initiating discussions between Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee Art Museum on O’Donnell Park was introduced Tuesday and will go before the Parks, Energy and Environment Committee on Thursday at 8:15 a.m., prior to the full County Board meeting. The full Board may take up the resolution at Thursday’s meeting.

“This will be a bold conversation on O’Donnell Park and the future of Milwaukee’s downtown lakefront,” Dimitrijevic said. “These talks will move us forward beyond the impasse on O’Donnell Park. Because the Milwaukee Art Museum is our community partner, we look forward to creating a public-to-public partnership. While the talks are exploratory, we want to engage in robust conversations about what O’Donnell Park will look like in the future.”

Jursik said the discussions could bring new ideas for the future of O’Donnell Park.

“As the Chair of our County Board’s Economic Development Committee and as a Trustee on the Milwaukee Art Museum Board of Trustees, I hope to be a good liaison for both boards in this public to public solution,” Jursik said.  “The Director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Dan Keegan, is a visionary and could help to provide a world-class solution to activating the public plaza.”

Broderick said he was confident that the conversation between the County and the Milwaukee Art Museum would end up benefiting both parties as well as the region.

“The Milwaukee Art Museum is a regional asset with a world-class reputation,” Broderick said. “These discussions promise to enhance opportunities for the Museum and the region. They can bring about a bold and creative vision. I look forward to the outcome of these talks as we look for the best ways to benefit the entire community.”

By Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Supervisor Gerry Broderick, and Supervisor Patricia Jursik


4 thoughts on “Fresh Conversations to Begin on the Future of Downtown Lakefront and O’Donnell Park”

  1. Marie says:

    This plan has great potential. MAM needs O’Donnell Park as a promenade to the bridge to the Calatrava, and for 60 percent of its visitor parking (according to a quote by the director). They would reliably maintain the park and could use it to expand their campus and provide interesting public programming. They would not have to worry about O’Donnell’s expansive viewing platform and entry plaza possibly being reduced to an “alley” from Wisconsin Avenue to the bridge. No private developer could be forced to look out for MAM’s needs or the public interest. The museum would always be at the mercy of those seeking private gain from buying a public park.

    It makes a lot of sense and I hope they can work out an agreement.

  2. BT says:

    MARINA-PLEASE, JUST DO THE RIGHT THING AND GO GET A REAL JOB SOMEPLACE! As if 70+% of the county’s residents voting you and your disgrace of a board down to part time status (and if “out of existence” had been on the ballot, trust me it would’ve been higher!) multiple board members being firmly rebuffed in their efforts to land some other gov’t gravy train elected position, including the shameless clown who thought nothing of spending a few grand of OUR MKE CTY tax dollars to send his little “info mailer” to WAUKESHA CTY residents who just happened to also live in the state district he was later smoked in election for (thank God he didn’t do something EVIL or downright fraudulent, like posting some political comments on JS Online while he was on the clock, now THAT calls for a John Doe!)

    Between what the MKE CTY Bored already did to disgrace itself enough to get 70+% of voters to vote you all the hell out of town (oh wait, that’s right, normally liberal MKE Cty was “brainwashed” by those right wingers in that, it had nothing to do with the endless legacy of blatant waste, cronyism and just plain old insanity!) even after that stunning rebuke, which 99.99% of rational adults would hopefully realize that maybe it is time to take a good look in the mirror after that happened to them, you and your board instead shifted it into overdrive, screwing the people who’ve been paying you $70k a year to do a 20 hour a week job even more! So, post all the crap you want, that’s what we see here, no matter what wording is used for any subject, all we see is the word “CRAP” in 84 point font size!

  3. gary says:

    Excellent move & brava Marina Dimitrijevic! – why does it take so many steps for Milwaukeeans to get to creative, fair, sensible solutions?
    How about a similar solution to rescue the truly derelict MacArthur Square with an arrangement / adoption by the Milwaukee Public Museum and Milwaukee Public Library?

  4. Bill says:

    Milwaukee County taxpayers provides an annual 1.1M subsidy plus rent free location to the Art Museum through 2023. The Art Museum’s primary motivation is parking so why not use their subsidy for the former County Executive Scott Walker delayed maintenance and leave the facility with the county. Granted the country Parks department has been less than a stellar steward of the facility but I fail to see why the Art Museum will make the required investment for maintenance simply for patron parking given their plans for expansion at the current location.

    Here’s a good read by Murphy on the Art Museum’s ongoing financial “challenges”
    Unfortunately the value of one of the top children’s museums in the country, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, who doesn’t receive any county or even United Way funding, is overlooked in this backroom deal.

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