Harbor District, Inc. constructed the winning design from a public design competition for a new public plaza at the east end of Greenfield Avenue. The concept was created by Ayres Associates and Quorum Architects and is located along the waterfront next to the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences.
The plaza design includes a play structure for children, a water play area and water feature, and a canoe/kayak launch and dock. The play structure is designed to look like the shipping containers synonymous with ports around the world. The water play area allows children to explore water flow and cool off on hot days. The canoe/kayak launch and dock allows visitors to get to the water’s edge and provides the only public canoe/kayak launch and docking south of the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee’s inner harbor.
Harbor View Plaza provides a space for families and children to recreate outdoors and experience the waterfront, a place for neighborhood workers to relax at lunch, and a destination for canoers and kayakers. The plaza is the first major investment in what will eventually be a continuous network of Riverwalk and waterfront parks spanning much of the western shore of the Harbor District. For details on the larger vision for the Harbor District, see the Water and Land Use Plan.
Harbor View Plaza was made possible thanks to the generous donations of Rockwell Automation, Inc., the City of Milwaukee, Brico Fund, and many other donors listed further down on this web page.
HDI launched the Take Me to the River initiative in 2016 to create new community connections – both programmatic and physical – to the waterfront, and to focus on creating an “early win” for the area. The project team quickly zeroed in on creating a public plaza at the end of Greenfield Avenue to provide access to the water and new public space for people to recreate and relax. To inform the creation of this new public space HDI conducted a variety of events and activities described below. The events were aimed at gathering input on what the community would want in a public space, familiarizing the community with the Harbor District, and bringing people to the waterfront.
Harbor View Plaza was made possible due to the generous donations of a number of organizations and individuals including those below. The most significant contributions included a $600,000 donation from Rockwell Automation, Inc., $300,000 from the City of Milwaukee, and $260,000 from Brico Fund.
Ayres Associates and Quorum Architects design Harbor View Plaza. Altius Building Co. managed the construction of the Plaza. Gallas Metalworks designed, constructed, and installed the Fish & Ships Gates and the Donor Wall. Containers Up designed, constructed, and installed the shipping container play structure.