Wandering Milwaukee: Honorable Tower Crane mention at the Pabst Brewery

The Brewery Pabst site Milwaukee

I see you. I’ll get over there in a bit.

There sure seems to be a lot going on at, and around, the old Pabst Brewery complex in Milwaukee’s Westown neighborhood. Visitors might not notice construction happening here, were it not for the warning beacon of a crane hovering above the site. That’s what caught my eye during my July 1 visit, and what kept me wandering The Brewery grounds for the afternoon.

I don’t know if the City of Milwaukee considers this crane an official tower crane or not, but since you’d need a permit to fly that thing here in Chicago, I’m counting it.

Developer Joseph Zilber is responsible for rejuvenating the Pabst site. Go there. (The website, not The Brewery. But then you should definitely visit the Pabst grounds in Milwaukee.)

The Milwaukee Independent has a great story about the history of The Brewery redevelopment.

I won’t even try to explain what is taking place here, except to point out that it appears there are at least 18 buildings involved. That’s over-simplifying at best. What I can do is share some photos from my walk through the neighborhood, all the while applauding all involved creating what already feels like a fun place to live, work, and play, and will only get bigger and better in the coming years.

Look, it’s way too many photos. And in no particular order. I know that. But I get carried away some times. And you should know that I still left out more than I included.

Wandering Milwaukee: Will The Couture be Milwaukee’s next tower crane?

The Couture Milwaukee

Signage proclaims The Couture’s arrival, as the newly-opened Northwestern Mutual Tower glimmers in the background.

Rumors are swirling around the Skyscraperpage forum that The Couture is about to begin construction on one of Milwaukee’s marquee corners.

On land that used to be the Milwaukee Transit Center, Barrett Lo Visionary Development is building the 44-story, 537-foot-tall residential tower in an ideal location between the Milwaukee Art Museum and Henry W. Maier Festival Park, home of Summerfest. Designed by the Milwaukee firm of Rinka Chung Architecture, The Couture will bring 600 new units to the lakefront location.

J.H. Findorff & Son is the general contractor. We just checked out some of their work at Marquette University, and we stayed in the newly completed Westin Milwaukee, last month. (We also profiled the Westin’s construction back in 2016.)

Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes sent over two great overhead shots of the site from the past, when it was still the MKE Transit Center, and the site now, which is a bare concrete slab. We noticed the empty slab, and The Couture signage, back in July. Here’s hoping that tower crane will still be there during Summerfest 2018!

 

 

 

Wandering Milwaukee: The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons opens today

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons is set to open Monday, August 21.

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons

A rendering via Northwestern Mutual from out on the water, a view I haven’t had.

Monday August 21 will mark the opening of Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. (Download a fact sheet with a wealth of information here)

Thanks once again to Summerfest, I got another chance (I walked around the site last year; post here) to see the tower in July. Other than work on the three-acre Northwestern Mutual Garden, it looked like a completed construction site. It took a visit to the interwebs to find out Northwestern employees had yet to move in to their new digs. As per the aforementioned fact sheet, workers will start moving in on Friday, four floors at a time, until all have been relocated in October.

32 stories, 550 feet tall, weighing in at a whole lot of tons, the tower will be home to 2,400 Northwestern Mutual employees, and The Commons will be open to the public.

Congratulations to the entire team:

For more on the opening of Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, visit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.

A couple photo galleries for ya:

July 2017

A few from July 2016

 

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.

Continue reading

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.