This morning, the City of Milwaukee’s Bronzeville Advisory Committee offered an update on the project on 4th St. and North Ave. that would convert the former Garfield Avenue School and America’s Black Holocaust Museum buildings into a mixed-use development.
Last year, the Common Council approved a plan by Maures Development Group to redevelop a set of buildings, including the Henry Koch-designed former Garfield Avenue School, 2215 N. 4th St., into mixed-income housing, a new America's Black Holocaust Museum and more in Bronzeville.
The plan received Low Income Housing Tax Credits last year and the committee announced this morning that the sale of the former school has been completed.
"It’s a great accomplishment," said committee vice-chair Rhonda Manuel. "It’s the first step toward completing this historic project."
Manuel added that the next move is to close on the low-slung building just northeast of the school that had long housed the late James Cameron’s America’s Black Holocaust Museum. At that point, Manuel said, a groundbreaking ceremony can be organized.
Committee member Jayme Montgomery Baker said that a planned tour of the school for a group of individuals involved in the project was delayed until after the closing on the school deal and is now expected to take place in February.
"It’s been a long wait for this catalytic project," said committee chair Ralph Hollmon, "but things are beginning to take shape, and that’s very exciting."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.