Look, I’m not posting this now in the hopes of scoring free Playoff tickets. Honest, I’m not. That I hadn’t been in Milwaukee in four years is purely coincidental. But anyway, good job by the Bucks in Game 3 after looking like they might be future venison steaks on the roof rack of a station wagon after that Game 2 horror.
Fiserv Forum was called the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center when I last stopped by, in July 2017.
Fiserv Forum is a design by Populous, the Kansas City-based architecture firm known in Chicago for its work on Guaranteed Rate Field and the United Center. They were assisted in the design work by Eppstein Uhen Architects and HNTB Corporation. The M.A. Mortenson Company was the general contractor.
The Forum opened in August 2018. It’s predecessor, the Bradley Center, was demolished soon after. That site remains empty now, but I doubt it’ll remain that way for long.
Enjoying the photos? Metra and CTA rides, Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, and comfortable walking shoes are adding up. You can help offset expenses by making a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.
Timing has never really been my thing. So in honor of the Australian Open (that ended 4 weeks ago), and our visit to Melbourne (that’s been over for 4 months), here are some photos of the ongoing construction at Rod Laver Arena, originally designed by Cox Architecture, at Melbourne Park. Lendlease is doing the honors.
You can learn more about the planned improvements from the arena’s website below:
BETTER FACILITIES FOR VISITORS AND FANS
Beginning in February 2016, and staged over four years, the Stage 2 redevelopment will breathe new life into Rod Laver Arena delivering:
• a new three-level, eastern-facing main public entrance and new annexes on the northern and southern sides of the building
• improved amenities, including more food and beverage outlets and toilets
• accessible entrances to the seating bowl and expanded public concourse spaces, making it easier to move around the building.
BETTER FACILITIES FOR PLAYERS AND PERFORMERS
Extensive back-of-house improvements will ensure that performers and players enjoy the best possible amenities and staging facilities, including
• improved rigging capacity, enabling the venue to host bigger productions
• a bigger loading dock to manage faster turnaround of events
• refurbishment of the area underneath the arena, providing year-round services for artists, production crews and players during the Australian Open.
And now, for the pics. And remember, these are four months old.
We love tower cranes at Building Up Chicago. That’s no secret. We’re especially fond of scenes like Vista Tower, The Simpson-Querrey Center, McDonald’s Headquarters, and One Bennett Park, each of which have two tower cranes on site. And don’t even get us started about the two projects we saw in London that had 10 apiece.
But we can’t get to them all.
We found out today, courtesy of Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes, that the tower crane we wandered to at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center had a sibling. Up until a couple weeks before we stopped by, the parking garage being constructed next to the Milwaukee Bucks’ new arena had a second tower crane.
Hey! Why not keep a tower crane on a parking garage? Do you have any idea how helpful (and fun) it would be to use it to get cars up to and off the top level?
Curtis said neither tower crane remains on site now, so it looks like we got there just in time. Maybe one trip a year to Milwaukee isn’t often enough?
You’ve already seen my visit from the first weekend in July to the Milwaukee Bucks’ new arena. Dozens and dozens of photos. Yet there were still two angles of the construction site I wasn’t able to see: from the inside, and from overhead. The former I won’t likely see until I buy a basketball ticket. But the latter? Someone else has that covered for us.
Click this link to see the Milwaukee Business Journal story from July 6 that featured photos from aerial photographer Curtis Waltz. Not satisfied with drone footage, Mr. Waltz goes one step further. Or higher, as the case may be: he flies his own plane to get his shots.
You can see all of Curtis Waltz’s work at Aerialscapes.
The Bucks’ Twitter account tweeted the following drone video, which does include some inside footage:
Not enough for ya? Well, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a drone video for you to check out as well.
There’s more to see at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center News page here. They update it frequently, so check in early and often.
Another Summerfest has come and gone from Milwaukee. I like Summerfest. It gives me a chance to sample the unhealthiest of delicious festival foods, walk around downtown, and see a concert. Last year, it was Sting. This year, Paul Simon. And once a year, I get to check in on Milwaukee construction.
Hands down, the most watchable construction site in Milwaukee right now is the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Including the future home of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, the WESC is a design by Populous, the Kansas City-based architecture firm known in Chicago for its work on Guaranteed Rate Field and the United Center, with assistance from Eppstein Uhen Architects and HNTB Corporation. Populous has also done design work for features of the Wrigley Field renovation. Chances are, if you’ve been to more than two sporting events in your life, you probably watched them in a Populous facility. The M.A. Mortenson Company is the general contractor.
While the WESC will eventually be a 30-acre entertainment district, the center piece is the new 714,000-square-foot arena. That, along with a multi-level parking garage, are under construction now. The $524 million arena is scheduled for completion in time for the 2018-2019 NBA season.
You can learn *tons* more about the new arena from ICON Venue Group.
You can keep up with the WESC on Twitter here.
Follow M.A. Mortenson here.
I haven’t seen what’s going on inside Wintrust Arena (though Shia Kapos of the Sun-Times has) but the outside is looking like it could host basketball or a convention any day now. But we’ll have to wait until fall, when the new facility begins hosting DePaul Blue Demon basketball.
At 1801 West Jackson Boulevard on the west side, McHugh Construction continues working on the Chicago Blackhawks Community Training Center. Wingers, defensemen, and goalies will be able to use it too though. The two-story, 125,000-square-foot facility, designed by HOK, replaces the original, now-demolished Malcolm X College, which became expendable when a new facility was built across the street.
In addition to providing practice surfaces for the Blackhawks and visiting NHL teams, the center will provide youth hockey development, and host recreational hockey leagues as well. It is expected to open in December of this year.
Finally got a look at the roof of Wintrust Arena this week. Glad I’m not the one who has to shovel the snow off so work can continue.
On the grounds of now-demolished Malcom X College (which just happens to be across the street from the brand-new Malcolm X College), the Chicago Blackhawks Community Training Center is being constructed at 1801 West Jackson Boulevard. McHugh Construction has pulled off quite the power play, linking steel together to form the facility’s frame, and even getting the roof in place. The One Goal? Have the center open in December 2017.
HOK designed the dual-rink, 125,000-square-foot icehouse.
It’s surely a combination of blue steel and red crane, but the construction process at the McCormick Place Event Center in the Prairie District of the South Loop is as much fun to watch as any building site in Chicago. And with the rooftop garden at McCormick Place accessible for Open House Chicago this weekend, you can climb up there and take in the view for yourself. (Make a point to check out the vegetables and herbs as well, just to have a memory of being in a garden on a roof, but you’ll be swept in by the construction.)
Quickly, before you’re deluged by a huge gallery of photos: The McCormick Place Event Center will be a 10,000-seat arena designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli serving as the home court for DePaul basketball, as well as a host to concerts, conventions, business meetings, and other sporting events. Clark Construction is the general contractor.