These Buildings were Demolished for Soulless Square Surface Parking Spaces
The article “These Buildings were Demolished for Soulless Square Surface Parking Spaces” by Jason McDowell talks about how many of Milwaukee’s historic buildings were demolished and made into parking lots. McDowell states that cities are “malleable and fallible”, which is very true. I feel like in Milwaukee there’s always a lot of construction going on, and new buildings are being built (especially apartment buildings). However, I haven’t seen a lot of buildings that are being demolished around the area. McDowell in the article interviews two professors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Robert Greenstreet and Arijit Sen, both who are professors in the Architecture and Urban Planning department at UWM. “Most people don’t see it, but when you become aware of it, you begin to see the closed-off windows and ghost images left on the ground where a building used to be,” Sen says in his interview for the article.
One Example is the YWCA building, located on 626 N. Jackson St. This building was made out of cream brick. It’s now a parking lot that’s located next to the Foxconn building.
Another example of a building that was demolished and turned into a parking lot was the Downtown Tire Center. I found this one interesting because you don’t really see many tire shops or mechanics in downtown areas, mostly out in the suburbs.
One of the most interesting examples that McDowell used was the Sydney Hih building, which has a lot of historical and nostalgic memories ingrained in Milwaukee. McDowell describes the building as a “bohemian artist community”. An interesting fact about this building is that the band Nirvana played here before they got famous. Sydney Hih wasn’t taken care of properly, and eventually ended up getting demolished. The freeway behind the building, the Park East freeway, is one of the few freeways in the nation to be exercised.
From what I can tell from this article, McDowell is using his voice to bring attention to the history of Milwaukee that many people might not know about. He describes the parking lots where the buildings used to stand as being “soulless”. From this, I believe McDowell is looking to see some revival in Milwaukee. He even goes as far to interview two professors at UWM to get more insight into this phenomenon happening in Milwaukee.
I think that OnMilwaukee is a good place to publish this article because a lot of the articles on the website do focus on local business, and this article does focus on demolished former businesses here in Milwaukee. I feel like this article was a more in-depth guide than some of the ones I looked at for blog post #1.