Here’s What You Missed in Wisconsin This Week: July 22

A look at the new Milwaukee Public Museum, the opening of the world’s tallest timber tower, and a mascot’s worst day on the job

Renderings Were Released for the New Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum has been planning a move for a while now, with its current Downtown location in bad need of repairs. This week, renderings were released of the proposed new building just a block away from Fiserv Forum. The five-story spot is decidedly modern-looking, and the museum is trying to raise $240 million to pay for it, with plans to open in 2026.

Personally, my greatest hope is that the Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit makes it into this brave new museum. That exhibit is the coolest, and I still treasure the old photo of twelve-year-old me sitting with my arm around the old, wooden man on the bench. I’d post it here, but that was during my goth phase, and I think it’s best those photos stay hidden for the sake of my employability.

Rendering courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Museum

The World’s Tallest Timber Tower Opens in Milwaukee

“Timber” is more than just an absolute banger by cultural treasure Pitbull. It’s an environmentally-friendly building material that New Land Enterprises used to build a 25-story, 284-feet-tall tower on Kilbourn Ave. That building, called Ascent, is now the tallest mass timber building on the globe, and it just opened this week. As a tiny man, I have an angry, almost violent, reaction to all things tall. (“What’s so great about height anyway? I bet my personality is way better than that tower’s.”) But despite that, this is a very cool project, and it’s great to see it reach fruition.

The RNC Is Probably Coming Here

Last Friday, the Republican National Committee’s Site Selection Committee chose Milwaukee as the site of its 2024 national convention. The decision still needs one more vote in August to be finalized, but it seems very likely at this point. This would be a big coup for Milwaukee, after the Democratic National Convention went virtual on us in 2020 and brought approximately three visitors to the city. Ideally, this would bring 45,000 attendees, and all the sweet, sweet hotel and restaurant cash money they have to spend.

Some people are saying we were chosen because Wisconsin’s a crucial swing state now. But I think the real reason is the new, freshly-waxed Bronze Fonz. He’s looking fly as heck over the river, and the Republicans just couldn’t resist his charms. Good on you, Fonz. Another win for Milwaukee.

Photo by Visit Milwaukee

I Wrote a 3,000-Word Story About Fleet Farm and Farm & Fleet

Time to self-promote a little. In the July issue of the magazine, I wrote a feature diving deep into the history of what might be Wisconsin’s two favorite chains – Fleet Farm and Farm & Fleet. Have you heard a legend about the brothers who started the store and then split it in two after a big, wild feud? Well, I found out the truth about that legend and you can read it by clicking here. In the words of one discerning reader, “Wow, this is a really great story. Good job, Archer. Now can you take the laundry downstairs? I’ve already asked you three times.”

Illustration by Brock Kaplan

West Washington Boulevard Might Be Renamed

A proposal went to the Milwaukee County Board of supervisors this week to rename West Washington Boulevard Frederick Law Olmsted boulevard, after the man who designed Washington Park, which the street runs through. Don’t know anything about Olmsted’s extraordinary legacy? Well, you’re in luck because a relentlessly self-promoting and egotistical writer actually wrote a 3,000-word story about him in the April issue of this magazine, conveniently linked here.

Is it too much to promote two of my own features in one column? Nope. Here’s a third: I also wrote a profile feature about Charlie Berens, too, linked here for your reading pleasure. Ok, sorry, I’ll stop now.


 

 

 

GET YOUR COPY OF “BEST OF MKE”

In our annual love fest for the city we call home, readers and editors alike give mad props to the people, places and things that rev us up right now. From restaurants to remodelers, we’ve curated more than 100 reasons for you to get out and explore Milwaukee. 


Kenosha Kingfish Mascot Gets Wrecked by AJ Dillon

On Saturday, the Kenosha Kingfish Northwoods league baseball team had a celebrity night. Packers running back AJ Dillon came out, and he and the Kingfish mascot (a large yellow fish named Elvis) ran an Oklahoma drill. For those of you who didn’t play high school football, the Oklahoma drill is another name for “you’re about to get a concussion.” The mascot, a 20-year-old college kid, lay across from Dillon, the whistle blew, and they both leapt up, spun around, and charged each other. Can you guess what happened next? Dillon hit that kid harder than the job market hits an English major after graduation. The mascot head went flying, and the young fellow inside lay winded in the grass. According to the Journal Sentinel, that poor guy didn’t even know he was going to be doing a drill with Dillon until he showed up that night for work. Imagine that. “Hello, mascot. Today your duties include getting smashed into the dirt by a professional football player.” Dillon apologized afterward after he saw how hard he’d smacked the kid. I have to imagine he was going at like 8% power, not quite realizing his own strength. Anyway, everyone involved came out uninjured – here’s the video:

Reckless Driving’s Still Bad in MKE

The Milwaukee Police Department is rolling out three new initiatives to try and cut down on car thefts and reckless driving, which if you don’t know is really, really bad in the city. The department is using a sticker program to mark cars that shouldn’t on the street overnight, adding more patrols, and arguably most notable of all, using a bait car to catch thieves. The new bait car is aimed at stopping the theft of Kias and Hyundais, which accounted for two-thirds of the vehicles stolen last year, according to Urban Milwaukee, likely because they’re easier to steal than other makes.

 

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.