Harbor View Plaza
2020 Engineering Excellence State Finalist
Entering Firm: Ayres Associates Inc.
Client: Harbor District Inc.
Owner: City of Milwaukee
Lake Michigan is an incredible natural resource. It facilitates commerce and adds beauty to its surroundings. It is no wonder then that the City of Milwaukee is actively upgrading its inner harbor to reconnect the community to the waterfront.
Ayres Associates knew a welcoming public plaza would connect the harbor to the public and allow for continued shipping at the port. The team started by recognizing the historic significance of the area – Milwaukee’s rich industrial and cultural history starts at the waterfront. The plaza’s design and play structure incorporate the shipping theme into its design. The site also allows for public use of the waterfront with an ADA-compliant kayak/canoe launch and a stylish boardwalk.
While the harbor is now designed to be more accessible and inviting, it is still an active port. The design team created a plan that allows up to 1,000-foot ships to dock at the location. The kayak/canoe launch is removable and a safety plan is in place that is compliant with Department of Homeland Security requirements.
The final design integrates the old and new. The result is a more modern harbor – one that accommodates massive ships and encourages residents to enjoy Lake Michigan.