When you think of Downtown Milwaukee, what do you think of? You think of the Milwaukee Art Museum. You think of the Milwaukee Public Market. And, of course, you think of the Marcus Center Parking Garage Snow Pile.
You know the pile. It’s the one that sits on the east wall of the Marcus Center Parking Garage (1001 N. Water St.) throughout winter and into spring. It’s formed by a bunch of snow being plowed through a gap in the top-level fence, which we find funny for some reason. We dutifully monitor the pile every year and place bets on when it will melt (usually early April). Hell, we made a shirt out of the damn thing, which is available now:
And now Milwaukee wants to take it away.
As teased earlier this year, the City of Milwaukee has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the 106,432-square-foot site. Boldly calling the home of the iconic Marcus Center Parking Garage Snow Pile a “non-contributor to the activation of the North Water Street corridor due to its singular use as a parking facility and its setback from North Water Street,” the City would like someone to turn it into an “aggressive mixed-use development with ground floor public activation.”
So a bubble tea place with some apartments on top, then? Or maybe a hotel?
“Ground floor uses might include restaurants, art galleries or cultural/civic uses; with residential, hotel, office, cultural/civic uses above,” reads a press release. “These uses should be used to wrap any above ground structured parking on the site. The parking ramp component should be considered a design opportunity in and of itself, making the experience of parking there a favorable experience for users.”
So yeah, a bubble tea place with some apartments on top. Or maybe a hotel. With parking.
Would you do this to other iconic city landmarks, Milwaukee? The Milwaukee Public Museum? The Mitchell Park Domes? The Mega Media Xchange on the corner of Brady and Farwell? We think not!
Here’s the link to the RFP, which we’re providing in hopes that some wealthy developer who also happens to be a big fan of our site (there may be two of you) will somehow preserve the home of the Marcus Center Parking Garage Snow Pile for generations to come.
Or maybe just put a plaque on the bubble tea place or something.