Next week DCD Commissioner Rocky Marcoux and Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs will host a charette – which is a 75-cent word for an intensive architectural or development planning meeting – aimed at kickstarting development at a number of sites in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
The charette – which takes place Dec. 16 from 8:15 a.m. until 4 p.m. at UWM School of Architecture & Urban Planning, 2131 E. Hartford Ave. – follows another one focused held back in June focused on King Drive.
That meeting resulted in five projects for its focus area, including the Malcolm X Academy redevelopment, which has since taken big steps forward, Milwaukee Enterprise Center redevelopment, a new parking lot that has helped return the long-lived Gee’s Clippers barber shop back to the street, and the redevelopment of a building on King Drive and Center Street.
Also among the projects sparked in June is a redevelopment plan for the old Fifth Street School, which I’ve written about a number of times, both in relation to its history and architecture (and departed twin sister, Walnut Street School) and in its current state.
In January, I wrote that I feared for the future of this treasure of Milwaukee architectural and educational history. I feared that the explosion of development all around the school might lead some to fight for its demolition and replacement with the row houses that have popped up all around it.
But, in the fact, I’m happy to say, that development appears to have helped ensure the survival of Herman P. Schnetzky’s Romanesque Revival schoolhouse.
Perhaps taking cues from the successful redevelopment of the former Mound Street School in Bay View and the old Peckham Junior High/Jackie Robinson Middle School into senior housing, the June charette – with Continuum Architects – resulted in a call for nearly 40 units of senior housing on the second and third floors of the school, which most recently served as home to the Isaac Coggs Community Health Center.
The first floor would have shared community space at the south end of the 1888 building that could be utilized by the neighboring Mount Moriah Baptist Church, which would also share parking and green space on the site.
I’m happy to report that the charette suggested razing the low addition stapled to the south end of the building sometime in the second half of the 20th century.
Let’s hope this plan gives another housing plan at the former Dover Street School in Bay View some more juice, too.
According to the charette documentation, the next steps are: "The BID and EDC should work with the Department of City Development on developing an RFP for this site. The development of senior housing on this site may necessitate the utilization of tax credits, unless it is constructed as market rate housing. Development, site ownership,and maintenance discussions should also include Mt. Mariah Baptist Church as a key member of the neighborhood and site."
I’d like to add one further step to this exciting proposal to preserve and reuse a building that has been a community landmark for more than 125 years: strip off the white paint and restore the building’s cream city brick splendor.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Though the exhibition was a small one, Milwaukee photographer Kevin Miyazaki's "Perimeter" show at the Haggerty Museum was one of the highlights of the local arts scene in 2013. Now, the project is showcased in a hardcover book -- officially launched with an event on Wednesday, Sept. 17 -- and we caught up with Miyazaki to ask him about the inspiration for and the perspiration of creating this unmatched exploration of Lake Michigan and its diverse users.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Decades after the break-up of The Rascals, Felix Cavaliere is still performing. We caught up with him before he arrives in Milwaukee this week for a gig at the Northern Lights Theater.
Published Sept. 15, 2014
There are few events more exciting for me than Doors Open Milwaukee, which takes place this coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, as dozens of locations around town as venues of all kinds swing open their doors to let Milwaukeeans see inside. There are churches, schools, office buildings, historic sites and much more.Here are six you won't want to miss!
Published Sept. 13, 2014
Like you, we love the Klement's Racing Sausages. But, the other day, while gazing down at the figures on a T-shirt celebrating 20 years of sal-seech, I wondered if a few of them couldn't use a bit of a makeover and if the time is ripe for a sixth member of the meat-grinder gang.
Published Sept. 10, 2014
Once upon a time, The Modjeska Theater, 1134 W. Mitchell St., was a neighborhood movie palace, the big daddy of Mitchell Street, the second busiest thoroughfare in Milwaukee after Wisconsin Avenue. Now, after four dormant years, and decades after it ended its run as a movie house, Mitchell Street Development Opportunity Corporation is cleaning it up, with an eye toward re-opening in spring with a mix of movies, concerts and other live performances.
Published Sept. 9, 2014
I love finding bits of Milwaukee history and now more than ever they're easy to find online.
Published Sept. 8, 2014
Madison's non-partisan Forward Institute released a report Monday that looked at education funding across the state of Wisconsin and found that over the past decade increasing poverty, deep education cuts, voucher expansion, the economic recession and growing rates of bilingual and special needs enrollment have led to a system that fuels funding and opportunity gaps among Wisconsin students and communities.
Published Sept. 7, 2014
A few weeks ago, I looked at missed opportunities, ugly spaces and other problem spots east of the river. This time, I go west.
Published Sept. 5, 2014
When school opened for the majority of MPS schools this week, most every program had a new 30-hour-a-week parent coordinator paraprofessional on staff to help school staff and families build bridges. At least one school's coordinator has constructed a successful one via social media. It's a model that could be successfully duplicated at other schools.
Published Sept. 3, 2014
The office of the County Executive Chris Abele today released an updated plan -- announced in collaboration with Mayor Tom Barrett -- for the mixed-use Couture high-rise development on the lakefront.