A revised design of the eastern end of the Milwaukee County War Memorial will be revealed at the Lakefront Development Advisory Commission at 5:30 p.m. today. The meeting is open to the public.
The design is different from the one unveiled in early April and will include a full wall of windows overlooking Lake Michigan on the ground floor as well as natural metal exterior panels.
"We’ve taken the entire ground floor and made it transparent, inviting public space," says HGA's Jim Shields, the lead architect on the project.
Shields was recently brought back by the museum to head the project after stepping into a smaller role in the design process last winter.
Along the glass east wall, a coffee shop with tables overlooking the lake will allow visitors to take a break from the exhibits and enjoy the view. The south end of the space will feature a gallery with objects made of metal, stone and glass that are able to withstand full sunlight.
On the north end will be an entrance with a lobby and a three-story stairwell / hallway that will also have a lake view.
Because of the all-glass first level on the east end of the building, people walking on the outdoor path next to the lake will be able to see the coffee shop and the art inside the museum.
The $15 million east entrance design will be paid for with privately donated funds and is part of a larger renovation that includes an additional $10 million in repairs to be paid for by Milwaukee County.
Construction on the 17,000-square foot addition begins in September and will be completed by late 2015.
"So far, it’s going extremely well," says Shields.