Last year, the iconic Sydney Hih building was torn down, causing great controversy among Milwaukeeans. Some believed it was a terrible eye sore that simply needed to go whereas others – particularly those who had memories of seeing bands at The Unicorn or eating at Siam's – wanted to see it renovated.
On Friday, Jan. 18, the nine metal letters that spelled out "Sydney Hih" on the front of the building will be reborn as public art at The Shops of Grand Avenue, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave.
The letters have been preserved and restored and will be placed permanently in the windows of the walkway over Plankinton Avenue.
Personally, I have my own collection of memories from the building. A construction worker gave me a brick during the demolition process and a kind reader sent me a piece of the Unicorn's yellow-painted door.
The installation of the letters in a highly visible area is a great idea. We need more public art in Milwaukee and for those of us with crazy, hazy memories of the brightly-colored monstrosity, it will be fun to see a small portion of it that's still intact.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.