The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design
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Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee

WI

USA

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
February 22, 2007
December 14, 2017

A marvelous feat of architecture, engineering and art that nonetheless fails miserably as a public space.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

A great icon and point of pride for Milwaukee, the Quadracci pavilion and surrounding public spaces fail monumentally as a public destination. Despite its location at downtownÍs waterfront edge, the building seems to shun any association with its urban context. The sculptural building pushes itself away from the city, the old museum and even from the water itself, that it offers no connection with, other to support its grand visibility.

The Pavillion is best approached and entered by car on the wide roads that separate it from the overtly obstructive and unusable Cudahy Gardens designed by Dan Kiley. The Gardens walking paths, and grass are really only designed to be looked at and there is really no place to sit, walk, gather or find protection. The museum has regretted that the gardens were not designed to be more active, but is prevented from altering the original design.

The old wing of the museum (that still has most of the gallery space), though likely thought of as failed architecture of a not-so-far-gone era, seems an obvious foreshadowing of how the new building will be viewed in another 20 years.

Inside the frictionless environment of the pavilion, there is really not much to do. There does not seem to be much art inside and the two small galleries seem rather uninteresting and unimportant in the belly of this bold architecture. The main attraction is the view, and the gift shop is really as nice as they come!

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities

Sociability

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History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum
The building may be extoirdinary sculpture, but is it much more than that?
Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum
The "park" are the buffer the building from the downtown is the most uninteresting, unsable and unused space in the downtown. The grass is not meant to be walked on and the percarious narrow paths can only accomodate one person walking.
Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum
Situated near the water's edge, the building seeks no human connection with the water.
Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum
The most frindly wasy to approach the building, despite its downtown location, is by car.
Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum
A bosque of trees is ussually a clear indication that a designer has no idea what to do with a space.
Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum
While celebrating a freedom of architecture, it also shuns the city, communities, and the very the art museum, from which it has been allowed to emerge.
Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum
Quadracci Pavilion and Cudahy Gardens, Milwaukee Art Museum

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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