Milwaukee Public Library
Press Release

Milwaukee Public Library​ Selects HGA to Design New Forest Home Branch

HGA has a history of designing libraries and has worked with MPL on several previous projects.

By - Mar 24th, 2015 08:57 pm

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Public Library’s (MPL) Board of Trustees selected architectural firm HGA to design the new Forest Home library, a branch of the Milwaukee Public Library system (MPL). The new library will be developed in partnership with Gorman & Co. in the Hills building on Historic West Mitchell Street and will replace the current branch located at 1432 West Forest Home Avenue.  The mixed-use building will feature market-rate apartments above a first floor library.

HGA designed the new award-winning East Branch, which opened in November of 2014. HGA has a history of designing libraries and has worked with MPL on several previous projects.

Gorman & Co. partnered with MPL to develop the Villard Square library, a mixed-use development featuring 47 grand family apartments above the 1st floor library.

In his 2014 budget, Mayor Tom Barrett with the support of the Common Council, prioritized redevelopment of the library branch system in a multi-year building and renovation program with an investment of $22.4 million over five to seven years.  The project calls for rebuilding four branches – Forest Home, Mill Road, Capitol and Martin Luther King – and renovating Tippecanoe library, which is currently underway.  The four branches scheduled for rebuilding will be redeveloped as part of mixed-use projects – a more affordable approach. Mill Road library, 6431 North 76th Street is the next branch slated for replacement.

“Our libraries are a vital part of our community – an investment in libraries is an investment in the future of our city,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.

“In 2016, the near south side community will have a new Forest Home branch,” said Library Director Paula Kiely. “Like the Villard Square and the recently opened East Branch, Forest Home will be a 21st century environment, rich with technology and flexible spaces for interaction and community connection.”

“We are excited to continue our long standing history of working with the City of Milwaukee and thrilled to have been selected to design this distinctive project,” said Jane Dedering, lead project designer at HGA. “We look forward to working with the City and Milwaukee Public Library to provide a welcoming neighborhood gathering place and deliver enhanced library services from this iconic building.”

About Forest Home Library

Forest Home Library, 1432 West Forest Home Avenue, opened in 1966 replacing the South and Lincoln branches and winning an award for its architectural design. Forest Home has a large collection of Spanish language materials for Adults and Children. The library offers computer classes in English and Spanish. A library renovation in 2000 provided Forest Home Library with a new computer lab to serve as a community technology training center. A drop-in Job Center for Spanish and English speaking individuals is also a feature.

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