Trends Summer 2020 | Page 18

New Harbor View Plaza transforms idle industrial area into a …


Waterfront Park

By Jennifer Schmidt

As the saying goes , good things come in small packages .

Harbor View Plaza , one of the City of Milwaukee ’ s smallest public parks , is a classic case in point . Though only about a quarter of an acre , the new waterfront park and playscape has become a catalytic public space in the heart of Milwaukee ’ s Harbor District .
“ It ’ s been fantastic ,” said Dan Adams , planning director for Harbor District Inc . ( HDI ), a nonprofit organization committed to revitalizing Milwaukee ’ s historic , industrial waterfront . “ If you would ’ ve told me three years ago that we were going to build a $ 1.5 million park , people would be using it , and we ’ d be having events here , I ’ d think , ‘ Wow . That sounds like a lot of work .’ But we ’ ve gotten to this point with the help of many partners , including Ayres .”
The popular park , designed by Ayres and subconsultant Quorum Architects , includes a lakeshore promenade , public canoe and kayak launch , a wetland-themed living fountain , and a play structure modeled after the shipping containers commonly seen along the waterway . The one-of-a-kind community space is a far cry from its bleak beginnings – essentially a lonely , uninviting plot of land on a dead-end road .
18 | TRENDS Ingenuity , Integrity , and Intelligence .