It's not too tough to get a candidate for any office to speak. But, getting one to consider every public space in Milwaukee and choose one favorite proves challenging. But they've done it and they've told us what moves them about their chosen site.
Picture Milwaukee Places, a growing online scrapbook of the places that move Milwaukeeans, collected the candidates' stories and snaps as part of an ongoing effort to document the significance of Milwaukee's hidden treasures. To peruse the project's first 50 submissions, click here, www.milwaukeemakesplace.org.
"We're identifying unexpected new landmarks while uncovering new meanings at existing, unsung places every day. Don't miss the final chance to tell us about your favorite Milwaukee place. The deadline for submissions is Tues., Sept. 30," said project organizer Jennifer Geigel.
Photos and stories may be contributed via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org through September 30. In addition, photos and stories will be accepted via mail at Milwaukee Makes Place, P.O. Box 324, Milwaukee, WI 53201. For returns, please include a SASE. All contributions should include the place name and location as well as the contributor's name.
7301 W. Courtland Ave.
Columbus Park to Miller Park? Maybe not. But there is something really special about the place where my son Tommy got his start in little league baseball. This summer, when we weren't watching and rooting for Tommy, my family found time to play tag and soccer, and even emptied the contents of a picnic basket once or twice. Milwaukee's wonderful parks provide opportunities for families like the Barretts to share experiences and celebrate all that this community has to offer. While runs, hits and errors will soon be forgotten, we will always remember the time we spent together in Columbus Park.
Shrine to Mary
Corner of 9th St. & Washington St.
That corner was part of my squad area when I was patrolling as a member of the Milwaukee Police Department in the 1970s. Now when I look back at the ways the United Community Center and Milwaukee's Latino leadership have turned the area around -- moving crime away -- it's astounding. On a more personal level, for me the Virgin Mary has always represented the feminine and nurturing side of God while the male God historically conjured punishment and damnation. God is forgiving. A person can change ... a neighborhood can change.
Basilica of St. Josaphat
620 W. Lincoln Ave.
The place that I enjoy most in Milwaukee is the Basilica of St. Josaphat. Not only because of it's profound historical and devotional characteristics, but because it represents a place where people can go to enjoy a sense of community. Whether spiritually or architecturally, the basilica is a beautiful part of our great city.
Milwaukee Public Library
814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
I get goose bumps whenever I go into the Downtown Public Library because when I was a boy I didn't have a library in my home town, but I loved to read. When I came to America, one of the things I did was visit a public library. I couldn't believe how many books were there and you borrow them. My first visit to the downtown public library was in 1985 and the structure took my breath away. I was such a beautiful building with books inside. Today I go to the library to reinvigorate my soul. I love that building; it is definitely a Milwaukee treasure.
Vliet Street Commons
I enjoy the Vliet Street Commons for several reasons. It is a great gathering place that complements the adjoining baseball fields. It adds vitality to the street and is pedestrian-friendly. Kids and adults love it! It can be used for gatherings large and small. It was the collaborative effort of three neighborhood organizations that raised the money to see it happen. It is a great example of urban design that works ... it draws people in and becomes a destination.
The Kilbourn Avenue Bridge and Milwaukee River
I work downtown in City Hall, and it is such a refreshing experience to take a lunch and look out over the river: either outside when it's warm, or from inside when it's cold. You realize the beauty of urban life, and that this is home. I love our city and nothing proves it to me more than a few short steps from work during a lunch hour. The river and the bridge from this vantage point remind me of almost any city in Europe, giving a flavor of the people who founded our great city.
Santiago Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum
I believe pictures of the Calatrava will be used and associated with Milwaukee much like we often see with photos of the arch in St. Louis, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco or the opera house in Sydney, Australia. It sets off our lakefront and gives a wonderfully friendly and welcoming reflection of our city and our people. I like the view from the west, which includes "The Calling" by Mark Di Suvero. I don't think it distracts at all, and it actually complements Milwaukee for having diverse art as a part of its landscape.
Statue outside the Washington Park Library
2121 N. Sherman Blvd.
I grew up on 44th & Clarke and went to schools in the Sherman Park/Washington Park neighborhoods. In terms of neighborhood history, George Washington means so much -- the neighborhood and the high school were named for him. I feel a connection too, being a teacher and running for mayor. The subject of the statue is actually Washington look-alike Baron Frederick von Steuben, a German-born Revolutionary War hero.
I love to walk along the lakefront, especially at night. Taking in the majesty of the sky and the vastness of the lake is refreshing after a long day's work. Milwaukee is a great place on a great lake. Sometimes I have to find a bench, sit still, and just appreciate it.