Arts & Culture
4:51 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

PHOTOS: Skatepark Ramps Up Local Talent

Lake Effect’s Dan Harmon and Nathan Royster go to Milwaukee's 4 Seasons Skatepark and speak with founder Neal Levin and operations manager Jeff Gozdowiak.

You'd never guess from its quiet, old red brick exterior that the Wisconsin Electric building off I-94 near Marquette University is full of fast-paced activity.

Inside is the 4 Seasons Skatepark, which for more than a decade has launched the careers of some nationally competitive skateboarders. But it also provides a place for local casual skaters to ramp up their skills.

Neal Levin is the founder and owner of the skatepark, who reflects on the history of the facility.

"When I first think we opened, since we were so new, I think people just came here as fun, not knowing what the future would hold," he says. "But as time went on, and as kids were coming day in and day out and having a place they could ride every day all year long, kids started getting really good."

Operations manager Jeff Gozdowiak also gives lessons to help skateboarders' improve. And he knows exactly why kids come each day to work on different maneuvers.

"The feeling I get when I step on my board and push to either go from a to b, or try a trick – nothing compares to that feeling," he says.

But Gozdowiak says skateboarding isn’t the only thing that goes on inside the park. The place is full of ramps and jumps for both boards and bikes, as well as a skating "bowl."

You can get an inside look at the sights and sounds of 4 Seasons below.