By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 15, 2018 at 11:25 AM

Ground will be broken for the new Harbor View Plaza on Friday, Aug. 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the site of the future park, 600 E. Greenfield Ave., next to the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences.

The plaza, based on the winning competition design by Ayres Associates and Quorum Architects, has a water play area, a water feature, a dock and launch for canoes and kayaks, as well as a children’s play structure.

According to the project website, "When constructed, the Greenfield Avenue Public Plaza will provide 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."

The waterfront park is a collaboration between the Harbor District Inc. and Rockwell Automation, which is among the donors to the $1.5 million project. Other donors financial supporters include the Brico Fund, the Bloomberg Award for Partners for Places – a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, Prairie Springs – Paul Fleckenstein Charitable Trust, the Walter and Olive Stiemke Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Fund for Lake Michigan, Herb Kohl Philanthropies, the Brookby Foundation, and the Zilber Family Foundation.

Another $300,000 is needed to complete the park, which will be the first one in the Harbor District, which has nine miles of waterfront.

"Harbor View Plaza is a step forward in a balanced approach to connect Milwaukee residents to the port area," said Mayor Tom Barrett in a statement issued Wednesday. "Historically, land around the port was exclusively industrial, but the future will include additional access, like Harbor View Plaza, for recreation."

The groundbreaking event will include remarks by Barrett and others, light refreshments and a visit by kayakers.

To learn more about the project, make a donation or to see more images, visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.