Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Nearly a Century of Planning

 
 
Nearly a Century of Planning Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 5, 2010
1. Nearly a Century of Planning Marker
Inscription.
Early in the 20th century, architect Alfred C. Clas imagined the riverfront as a European-style destination for recreation and a source of beauty at the heart of downtown.

In 1914, Clas, a proponent of the "City Beautiful" movement to improve architecture, landscaping and urban planning in American cities, advocated narrowing the River to a canal. He proposed building underground subway tunnels covered by broad, leafy walkways and orienting new buildings toward the water. But Clas's dream would not be realized.

The First National Bank building (12 above), designed by renowned architect Daniel Burnham, provided the first hint of what a riverwalk system could look like. The building reportedly attracted 10,000 visitors to the riverfront for its opening in 1914. But a comprehensive public plan was still years away.

Subsequent plans for development would have given Milwaukee a very different riverfront. The 1968 Milwaukee River Technical Study recommended demolishing many of Milwaukee's most historic buildings, including Mader's, 1041 N. Old World Third St., and Turner Hall (2 above), to make room for green space and boat slips.

It was not until the early 1990s that Milwaukee business and government leaders finally united to develop the River as a public destination. The Milwaukee Riverwalk District,
Nearly a Century of Planning Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 5, 2010
2. Nearly a Century of Planning Marker
Looking west toward the Milwaukee River, with "Round Ring" sculpture in view
created in 1992, established a public-private partnership to finally realize the spirit, if not the details, of Clas's original vision. The Milwaukee Common Council approved plans to develop the RiverWalk in 1994 and the project soon grew into the strongest development corridor in the state of Wisconsin.
 
Erected by City of Milwaukee.
 
Location. 43° 2.389′ N, 87° 54.609′ W. Marker is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Milwaukee County. Touch for map. Marker is along the RiverWalk, about 100 feet west of the intersection of Mason and Front Streets, and about 25 feet east of the "Round Ring" sculpture. Marker is in this post office area: Milwaukee WI 53202, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Architectural Gems on the Riverfront (here, next to this marker); Milwaukee's Bridge War (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Milwaukee's Miraculous Mallard (about 300 feet away); The First House on the East Side of Milwaukee (about 300 feet away); Gertie (about 400 feet away); Wisconsin's Oldest Newspaper (about 400 feet away); Pabst Theater (about 400 feet away); Milwaukee News Bldg. & Milwaukee Abstract Assn. Bldg. (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milwaukee.
 
Also see . . .
Location of Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 5, 2010
3. Location of Marker
Note nearby location of the "Bronze Fonz"

1. Milwaukee RiverWalk. (Submitted on December 9, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Reshaping Milwaukee's Riverfront. (Submitted on December 9, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Milwaukee's Oldest Building on Riverfront Threatened. (Submitted on December 9, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
First National Bank (Burnham) Building image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 5, 2010
4. First National Bank (Burnham) Building
Sconce on First National Bank Building image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 5, 2010
5. Sconce on First National Bank Building
First National Bank Building Entry Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 5, 2010
6. First National Bank Building Entry Detail
The Bronze Fonz image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 5, 2010
7. The Bronze Fonz
Part of the RiverWalk sculpture series, commemorating one of the characters from the 1970s "Happy Days" television show set in 1950s Milwaukee
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 9, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 488 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 10, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Paid Advertisement