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Milwaukee City Hall Receives National Preservation Award

Posted By culleneditor On November 2, 2010

Milwaukee City Hall Receives National Preservation Honor Award

National Trust for Historic Preservation to Presented the Award at Its National Conference in Austin, Texas on October 29, 2010.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation presented its Preservation Honor Award for the exterior renovation of City Hall in Milwaukee, Wis. The project is one of 23 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2010 National Preservation Conference on October 29, 2010 in Austin, Texas.

Completed in 1896, Milwaukee’s City Hall has been a distinctive and iconic part of the city’s skyline for more than a century. Constructed in the German Renaissance Revival style using granite, sandstone, pressed brick and terra cotta, the building’s graceful gables and baroque ornamentation proudly embody the city’s unique cultural heritage. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2005, City Hall had been battered by a century of weathering, hard use and insensitive alterations when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced plans for an ambitious, historically-accurate exterior renovation project.

Behind 75 miles of scaffolding, City Hall’s signature tower was completely dismantled and rebuilt, and expanses of damaged brick, terra cotta and metal were replaced. In addition to more than 1,900 windows that were upgraded, the project included the replacement of two spires and the building’s copper roof. Near identical replications of terra cotta sculptures on the building were created to replace those that had deteriorated.

The scope of the project extended beyond its walls. Determined that the restoration should benefit the local work force, the City launched an ambitious apprenticeship and on-site training program, which created 2,500 jobs and provided a welcome economic boost. After three years of scaffolding and nearly $66 million, the project was completed in December of 2008.

“The Milwaukee City Hall building is not only one of the most beautiful municipal buildings in America, it is also one of the buildings most closely associated with the city’s heritage,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “In restoring City Hall, Milwaukee officials made a powerful statement about their commitment to the history and character of downtown Milwaukee.”

The 2010 National Preservation Awards are sponsored by American Express. Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, said, “Congratulations to all 23 award recipients for their extraordinary work in protecting America’s heritage. As American Express expands its commitment to historic preservation, we’re honored to recognize the dedicated individuals who are saving places that matter across the nation.”

The award will be presented to Jeffrey Mantes of the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works and to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett at the National Preservation Awards ceremony in Austin, Texas, on Friday, October 29, at 6PM CST. Co-recipients are: Charles Engberg, AIA, Engberg Anderson, Inc.; Larry Rocole, JP Cullen and Sons, Inc.; Brent Gabby, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.; Ilene Tyler, Quinn Evans Architects; Harold Farchmin, Bloom Companies, LLC; Parmjit (Jesse) Jaspal, PSJ Engineering; Rick Mitchell, Mead & Hunt, Inc.; Mary Pelikan, Architectural Lighting; and Simon Dvoretsky, Construction Resources & Management.

The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation. The winners of the National Preservation Awards will appear in the January/February issue of Preservation Magazine and online at www.PreservationNation.org/awards.

To download high-resolution images of this year’s National Preservation Award winners, visit www.PreservationNation.org/press

Press Release courtesy of the National Preservation. org.

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