Client: Near West Side Partners
Location: milwaukee, WI, United States
Completion date: 2023
Artwork budget: $134,000
Project Lead & Design Build
Andre Saint Louis
Saint Louis Studios, LLC
Seven 13-foot-tall steel sculptural Neighborhood Markers were Designed and Built for the Near West Side Partners in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This was over a year-long process involving the neighborhood residents giving us feedback and oral history. We worked with historians and did our own digging to make sure we were telling the right stories. The residents and our team both wanted to see mention of the indigenous tribes of the area as well. This information was included on the acrylite panels that were done with vinyl lettering and the names of the neighbors were laser-cut dimensional letters attached. We received the 2023 Mayor’s Design Award for this project.
The Near West Side Gateway Marker project is designed to support the variety and vibrance of the seven neighborhoods of the Near West Side. This project has an immediate visual impact throughout each neighborhood. Each neighborhood has distinctive characteristics and history that is shown off to residents and visitors to the area. Working with the community and the city a marker was placed at the entrance of each neighborhood to indicate movement into the neighborhood. The marker includes indigenous history, how the neighborhood was founded, and the present vision. Residents voted on the design of the markers and neighborhood associations were tasked with compiling the historical summaries. Each neighborhood was allocated an equal amount of funds for its markers. A trail will be designed to connect the markers in order to encourage residents to walk and learn about the surrounding neighborhoods. The markers are highly visible symbols of pride in the Near West Side’s history and character.