South Water Works

Creating a new town square

Located in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point district, South Water Works involved the redevelopment of a campus of buildings originally built for the Pittsburgh Paint Company back in the late 1920s.

With a master plan centered on a central green space “town square,” the plan organizes existing buildings, new additions on top of existing foundations, and new construction into a coherent whole.

Situated along one of the largest city blocks in the district, new streets have been cut into the site to provide access to the development. Parking is provided in the town square, as well as in the basements of existing and new buildings. Building uses range from rental apartments to a repertory theater to office space to ground floor retail and showrooms.

The master plan process involved a careful survey of all existing buildings to determine the quality of every building system. Based on theses evaluations, HGA recommend which buildings were likely candidates for renovation, which could be designated national historic buildings for tax credit purposes, and which should be demolished to make way for new construction.

Despite a general downturn in the development economy, South Water Works proceeded vigorously with the construction of the urban square and main entry street, the renovation of the historic Pittsburgh administration building, the construction of a new apartment building on top of 1920s foundations, the renovation of the National Register historic “Deco” building, and the construction of a second new apartment building