Marcus Performing Arts Center unveils renovated grounds during the re-dedication of its war memorial

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts set aside the morning of Nov. 14 to honor and commemorate veterans who served the United States, both in times of conflict and in times of peace, by unveiling the fully renovated Community Gardens and the rededication of his War Memorial.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marcus Center has focused on redeveloping key areas of its campus. After completing the renovation of Uihlein Hall last fall, efforts have shifted this year to complete the renovation of the outdoor community grounds.

“Milwaukee is proud of its rich history with the Marcus Performing Arts Center. After World War II, several groups in Milwaukee came together to create a memorial for our Milwaukee veterans through the lens of cultural facilities devoted to the “arts of peace.” As a result, the War Memorial Corporation was founded, which to this day sits on Lake Michigan,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson. “At the same time, community visionaries came together to create an anchor for the city’s growing and rich performing arts and culture.

In addition to the existing inscription on the south side of the building, the Marcus Center has installed an additional memorial tribute at the southeast corner of the outdoor community grounds. It features an expression of gratitude with the words “Honor & Remember” as gold inlay in a circle with benches on either side of the memorial to provide space for reflection. Two masts display the American flag on either side of the memorial.

“This memorial was created to ensure that future generations remember and honor the pride and dedication of those who were served, the legacy they carried on and the freedom they preserved. Our Freedoms and Values remain safe today because of the brave people who answered the call and faced the fire. We are eternally grateful and thank our veterans for their service, especially those in our area,” said Kendra Ingram, President and CEO of the Marcus Center.”We dedicate this site as a place where people will come together to share memories and as a place where people can reflect in solitude. We dedicate this memorial in recognition of those who have sacrificed for our freedom in the past and for those yet to come.”

At the end of May, the Marcus Center launched its exterior renovations. The effort kicked off a new phase of its campus master plan by planting 24 acacia trees. With a focus on accessible community gathering spaces, the redesigned grounds were designed to provide an open, park-like setting and enhanced ADA accommodations.

“As we began to review work to be completed on the outdoor grounds, creating a public gathering space for our community in downtown Milwaukee was not only important to us, but it was also a top priority for us. to showcase our rich history. as a dedicated war memorial and with the Milwaukee County War Memorial,” said Board Chairman Raymond L. Wilson.

The renovated community grounds feature a crushed stone curb sealed with waxed polymer for wheelchair and stroller accessibility so that all community members, regardless of ability, can enjoy the public space. There are also cut-outs of wheelchair benches at the National War Memorial and wheelchair seats at cafe tables.

The renovation expands the lawn area just east of the Peck Pavilion, providing additional space for public use during the warmer months. The lawn offers stunning views of the newly installed screen at the Peck Pavilion, where visitors can relax and enjoy outdoor performances.

The native perennial gardens were created to incorporate a biofiltration element on the sidewalk incline to the back wall for natural absorption into the ground. A perforated pipe is buried at the bottom and connected to the storm drain, which runs east to west under the main lawn. In addition, replacing existing fixtures provides better visibility and lighting.

Founded in 1969, the Marcus Performing Arts Center (MPAC) is the premier performing arts community gathering space in southeastern Wisconsin, bringing high-quality arts and cultural programming to the region. It is also home to a variety of resident arts partners, including First Stage, Milwaukee Ballet, Florentine Opera Company, Black Arts MKE and Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra.

“Today, we expand on that legacy and will continue to honor the dead by serving the living by remembering those who served our country with the dedication of our new War Memorial on the newly renovated outdoor community grounds,” added Mayor Johnson.