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Photo Essay: Bronzeville construction a catalyst for revival

“It is wonderful that we are going to get workforce housing, and a museum that puts the light on an important part of the history of America.” – Wyman Winston, WHEDA Executive Director

The April 4 groundbreaking event celebrated a re-emergence of the Black Holocaust Museum, as an anchor institution for the Historic Garfield Redevelopment in Bronzeville.

Maures Development Group and J. Jeffers & Company will be redeveloping the Garfield School into 30 affordable apartments. On the corner of North 4th Street and West North Avenue, they will also be building The Griot, a mixed-use development featuring 41 apartments in the floors above a space that will be used as the new home for America’s Black Holocaust Museum.

Located 1.5 miles from downtown and along a major commercial corridor, the project will help catalyze the local economy and create jobs and training opportunities. It is expected to initiate the rebirth of the Bronzeville Art and Entertainment District, as long envisioned by residents and community stakeholders. The project will cost 17.4 million and is expected to be completed by spring of 2018.

These images capture the celebration that was sprinkled with both rain and sunbeams, as a decade long journey came to an end and began a path for a brighter Milwaukee to include all of the city’s residents.

“None of this has been by accident. The whole purpose and goal is to have affordable, decent housing for people of all incomes. I want everyone in the city to be proud of a city that recognizes decent housing is a basic human right. We have to make sure that people of all incomes have that.” – Mayor Tom Barrett

There would be no Holocaust Museum or no redevelopment of the Garfield School if it were not for a combination of collaboration from people. This process and project is an example of the collaboration and different intersections of people that have to come together for the city to be better. For this museum to succeed, I hope this is something we can remember as we move forward.” – Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs

“Melissa Goins and I often talk about the Milwaukee that we grew up in, and how different the Milwaukee is that we now live in. When we first began this journey several years ago, it was was with a determination to bring the Milwaukee that we grew up in back to today.” – Brad Pruitt, Filmmaker

“Bring the rain. Bring footsteps heavy with heaven and time. Form lifelines around the sacred place. Bring the rain. Bring the clusters of overhead dreams of ancestral showers our feet they befallen like seeds, bring that condensation of history of intention when we stand to fall. To fall into the depths of soil, to reach ourselves beyond the roots where we stand to fall, to drench. We put our intentions and our consciousness across this place, when we move with the intention of space we be like rain. We must fall together. We must drench, we must clean, we must be the earth rising, we pour our selves into this place, we saturate. We saturate this earth space fertile as ever as if we pass dry land and let our a dreams soil. We pass dry land and let our stories wither. We release our legacy like kisses upon the wind. Be the rain. We are cumulus, be the rain. We are thundercloud, be the rain. Be the change. Be the clap, be the torrent, be the redemption in this movement. We be downpour. We be answers. We are questions. We are the truth. We are summer showers, we are the wail of saxophone blues, where are the blessing, be the reason, be the harvest of this fearless dreaming. We bring music. We bring life. We bring love. We bring city. We bring life. The bring the gift. We bring the drops every step along this sacred place. We be the rain. We be the promise, we be the next rebirth. Bring the rain gray clouds to blue skies, we make that move. You be the rain.” – Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Artist

© Photo

Lee Matz

Read the article, listen the audio, and view the photo essay that were produced as companion features for this news report.

About The Author

Lee Matz

Former Creative Director and Photojournalist for the Milwaukee Business Journal, Lee brings his years of international experience as a foreign correspondent in Asia and Europe, with a background in publishing, advertising, and design, to the Milwaukee Independent. His list of awards include two consecutive top honors from the Milwaukee Press Club.

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