Next week DCD Commissioner Rocky Marcoux and Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs will host a charette â€“ which is a 75-cent word for an intensive architectural or development planning meeting â€“ aimed at kickstarting development at a number of sites in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
The charette â€“ 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. â€“ 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 Geeâ€™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 Iâ€™ve written about a number of times, both in relation to its history and architecture (and departed twin sister, Walnut Street School)â€¨ 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, Iâ€™m happy to say, that development appears to have helped ensure the survival of Herman P. Schnetzkyâ€™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 â€“ with Continuum Architects â€“ 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.
Iâ€™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.
Letâ€™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."
Iâ€™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 buildingâ€™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 Jan. 29, 2015
If you've walked or driven past lately, you've likely seen that work on the Milwaukee Art Museum and War Memorial Center is well underway. Here's an update.
Published Jan. 28, 2015
The fire that destroyed the Metropolitan Block - described as "the equal to any building in the country" - was a sad reality, despite my own foggy memories of it.
Published Jan. 27, 2015
The visionary civil rights leader visited our city to speak on at least two occasions. His comments half a century ago remain as true now as they were then. Here is some of what he told Milwaukeeans.
Published Jan. 26, 2015
Maybe it's just because I love visiting schools, but I always tell prospective parents to go to a school that interests them as a potential option for their children. Sure, read Great Schools' ratings, talk to other parents, Google the school, but if you're going to do one thing only: go to the school. Not sure which school or schools to check out? Then the first step is to visit the MPS All-School Enrollment Fair on Saturday, Jan. 31 at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.
Published Jan. 26, 2015
DNA testing for genealogical purposes can open up new vistas in your self-identity and your self-awareness. We took a test and here's what we learned.
Published Jan. 24, 2015
When Milwaukee's Italian community read the news that a group of Americans - including many prominent city residents - would protest Italian intervention in Spain outside the Italian Consulate in June 1937, it must have awaited the event with at least some trepidation. When the protests took place, everyone - including the picketers themselves - were surprised by what occurred and by the reaction of Milwaukeeans.
Published Jan. 22, 2015
By the 1970s, an ugly addition and the gutting of the deco charm inside left The Edgewater a mere shadow of its original glory on the shores of Lake Mendota. But now, with a new owner, a completely new renovation and a brand new sister building across an inviting plaza, The Edgewater is clearly atop the world of Madison hotels once again.
Published Jan. 20, 2015
If you want to hear more about Dermond Property Investments LLC's plan to develop the site long occupied by Faust Drum Center, 2204 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., and weigh in on it, Ald. Tony Zielinski hosts a town hall meeting on the proposed development on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Bay View Post 180, 2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Published Jan. 20, 2015
The Williams House, 606 E. Homer St., holds special significance - both tragic and joyful - for Beau Walter's pioneering Bay View family.
Published Jan. 19, 2015
Much like a traveling tent show, the Wisconsin Historical Society is moving its new exhibition around the state and this month it's in Milwaukee. "The Wisconsin History Tour: Sharing Wisconsin's Stories One Community at a Time" is on view on the first floor of the Central Milwaukee Public Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., through Jan. 29.