Arena With an Identity Crisis


New Milwaukee Bucks Arena

In case you have not heard, Milwaukee is going through a sort of building renaissance, albeit small compared to other cities like our neighbor to the south—Chicago. There are at least six major projects being built downtown, and one of them happens to be the recently ground-broken new home for the Milwaukee Bucks NBA basketball team as seen in the rendering above.

Milwaukee is home to some pretty unique architecture. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion, Miller Park, City Hall, Wisconsin Gas Building, Pabst Theater and the Basilica of St. Josaphat are a few of those I would suggest visiting.


BMO Harris Bradley Center

Now, we have a new Basketball-Only arena replacing the 1980’s concrete slab BMO
Harris Bradley Center. 

Don’t get me wrong, the new arena is an improvement over the current one in use, but what do you conjure up when you see the new design above? A wooden keg perhaps signaling back to the once beer brewing capital of the world? A slight pause of a sideways comma? How about a combover much like the one of the 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump?


Side of New Stadium

Either way, I don’t know what to think of our new arena. I like some of it. The Zinc paneled roof which is rustic and yet modern, as well as the plaza entrance area covered in glass with an observation area jetting out near the top, are some of my favorites. But the whole building seems to be forgotten. Just look at the other sides of the arena renderings and I get a feeling it was an afterthought.

What are your thoughts? Do you like the design? Does it speak to you and if so what does it say? Is it “Milwaukee”?

Like I said before, I am torn. I like some of it, but there are parts I feel were ignored. Maybe it was the budget or the time constraints that were limiting (Arena History). I just hope “Milwaukee’s Combover” doesn’t become its nickname.



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