The iconic “Mural of Peace” in Walker’s Point in Milwaukee that borders I-43 is being taken down, but the building’s developer says it will be back soon.
“As part of our rehab, we had to remove that temporarily,” says Cal Schultz, president of Oshkosh-based Keystone Development. “We’ve been working with the original artist to make sure we maintain the mural and remove it and replace it properly.”
The mural’s original artist, Reynaldo Hernandez, is part of this effort.
Photos of the mural being removed that were shared on social media raised concern over the mural’s future, but those appear to be unfounded.
The city of Milwaukee has provided funding for the restoration of the mural and developer is working with the Department of City Development on the project, says Schultz.
The building at 611 West National Avenue was owned for years by Esperanza Unida Inc, which had fell into financial trouble and had owed thousands in back taxes. In 2014, “the city took control of the property through foreclosure proceedings,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
Keystone and its affiliate, Northpointe Holding LLC, is renovating the building into what’s being called the Mercantile Lofts. The top floors of the building are being converted into 36 apartment units, and the first floor will remain a commercial/restaurant/office space, says Schultz. One tenant, WJTI Radio, has moved its office from the second to the first floor, and the building has recently added a new tenant, Staffing Partners, an employment agency.
The buildings rehab and renovation is scheduled to be completed on July 15.