Sometimes the tower cranes we miss are the tower cranes we miss the most

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes sent over this photo of the WESC from June, just as the second tower crane was coming down.

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?

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Only one tower crane remained when we visited the WESC in July.

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Don’t get me wrong; there were still multiple cranes. Just not multiple tower cranes.

Wandering Milwaukee: One last tower crane reigns above the east side

Farwell Tower 1840 North Farwell Avenue

Like the Bat Signal, this distant tower crane led me to 1840 North Farwell Avenue on Milwaukee’s East Side.

If there are more than the five tower cranes I spotted in July around downtown Milwaukee (two at Marquette University, one at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, one at 7Seventy7, and this one at 1840 North Farwell Avenue) blame it on my feet, not my heart. I walked until I could spot no more.

I saved the most mysterious for last. According to this article from Urban Milwaukee, this project is called “Farwell Tower.” That’s believable; it’s on Farwell Avenue at Kane Place on the city’s east side. The tower crane gives a solid clue as to the general contractor; Stevens Construction. As for the developer and architect (I always try to include those three entities, CG, developer, and design architect in each story) I’m relying on the aforementioned Urban Milwaukee article, and you should too. Check that link not just for the team involved, but also for the building specs. They’ve also got some great photos, taken far more recently than my July 1st visit.

Find another great photo gallery from Milwaukee Independent, taken July 6 during the first big concrete pour, here.

Photos from July 1 follow:

Wandering Milwaukee: Marquette University puts up two tower cranes

Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University

Soaring high above the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University. Photo courtesy of Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

If you’re a college student in Milwaukee, you might think that headline should read “Marquette University puts up student housing.” Apparently we haven’t met. When two tower cranes appear on the same job site around these here parts, they carry the day. Along with all the heavy stuff.

But of course, student housing is important too. Marquette is building the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons to house 890 students at the site, bounded by Wisconsin Avenue, 17th, Wells, and 18th Street. We know the general contractor, J.H. Findorff & Son; during last year’s Summerfest visit, we checked out their work at the Westin Milwaukee. (It’s finished, by the way. We stayed there during Summerfest 2017.) Findorff’s task is to have the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons ready in time for Fall 2018 classes.

Design duties were split between Milwaukee’s own Workshop Architects and Baltimore-based Design Collective.

You can read the full July 2016 press release from Marquette University here, or see it in its entirety after the photo gallery.

Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University

The west tower crane sits on a separate lot, and reaches across the street.

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Wandering Milwaukee: 777 North Van Buren, one year later, is 7SEVENTY7

777 North Van Buren

7SEVENTY7, at 777 North Van Buren Street, rises is the heart of downtown Milwaukee.

One year ago, we reported in this very space on the large hole in the earth at the corner of North Van Buren and East Mason Streets in downtown Milwaukee. It was there that Northwestern Mutual had just started construction on a 34-story apartment tower to compliment Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons.

Now known as 7SEVENTY7, some familiar names in the booming Chicago construction scene are involved at 777 North Van Buren Street. Hines, who just broke ground on Wolf Point East, is the developer. The design is by Chicago architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz. Structural engineering is by Magnusson Klemencic Associates, which seems to be on the job in every Chicago skyscraper, including the spectacular work going on at Vista Tower. Wisconsin’s own C.D. Smith Construction is the general contractor.

The 34 stories of 7SEVENTY7 will include 8 floors of parking, 1,400 spaces, meant to be used by employees of the new office tower, residents of the new apartment tower, and the public. Units will include 303 one-, two-, and  three-bedroom apartments, plus 14 penthouse units.

A Summer 2018 opening means on next year’s visit to Summerfest, 7SEVENTY7 may well be open.

 

Wandering Milwaukee: Revisiting the Bucks’ new arena, vicariously, from the air

Milwaukee Bucks new arena

An eagle-eye view of the Milwaukee Bucks’ new arena from pilot/photographer Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

Milwaukee Bucks new arena

Photo via Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

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.

http://www.jsonline.com/videos/sports/nba/bucks/2017/07/11/video-aerial-view-drone-future-milwaukee-bucks-arena/103568966/

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.

Wandering Milwaukee: The Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Milwaukee Bucks new arena

The new of of the Milwaukee Bucks rises as part of the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center.

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.

A rendering of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

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 sporing 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.

 

 

 

 

Even More Milwaukee: The Westin Milwaukee

The Westin Milwaukee

A tower crane shines like a beacon in the night above the Westin Milwaukee site, 550 North Van Buren Street.

Seriously, if you don’t want me snooping round your construction site, hide your tower crane. They’re a dead giveaway every time.

While in Milwaukee last month to scope out the Northwestern Mutual developments in downtown Milwaukee, I followed this tower crane to 550 North Van Buren Street, where Starwood Hotels is building the Westin Milwaukee. The nine-story, 220-room hotel was designed by Kahler Slater, and is being built by general contractor J.H. Findorff & Son.

Wedged smack dab in the middle of the US Bank complex, the Westin Milwaukee is slated to open in Summer 2017.