Milwaukee River Revival

Milwaukee River Revival
4:35 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Looking to the Future

Not many dull moments in summer.

In this concluding segment of our series, WUWM's Bob Bach and Marge Pitrof chat about the visions people shared with our reporters about future plans for the Milwaukee River, as well as its ongoing challenges.

Milwaukee River Revival
4:26 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Environmental Forecast

Natural flow downstream from Estabrook Dam.

Past generations poured sewage, trash and industrial chemicals into the Milwaukee River.

Most of the direct dumping has ended, but as WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence reports, run-off from the land continues to choke the river, as do occasional sewer overflows.

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Milwaukee River Revival
3:43 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Waterway Becomes Popular Place for Recreation

Rowers are among the people using the river in their leisure time.

Early in Milwaukee’s history, residents flocked to the Milwaukee River to recreate. They gathered at the beer gardens and swimming schools that lined the shores, north of downtown.

By the end of the 1900s however, development and runoff had polluted the river, and the community began abandoning it. It wasn’t until about 1970 that comprehensive efforts began to remediate the problems.

The river is far from its pristine state. Yet in today’s installment of our series Milwaukee River Revival, WUWM’s Ann-Elise Henzl views how the river has again become a draw for leisure-time activities.

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Milwaukee River Revival
3:24 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Businesses Benefit From Views, Traffic, Energy

Manpower Group relocated to downtown Milwaukee to take advantage of the river's revitalization.

All week we’ve been taking a close look at the Milwaukee River. We heard about the waterway’s history – how the community used it decades ago for industry and transportation – to modern developments, such as luxury condominiums and trendy restaurants. Today, WUWM’s Erin Toner reports on the value of the Milwaukee River to downtown businesses.

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Milwaukee River Revival
3:19 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Bars and Restaurants Lure Customers With River View

Lakefront Brewery sits on the north end of the River Walk.

Housing units and more have popped up along the Milwaukee River in recent times, as the city has accommodated development. For decades, the community polluted, then ignored the festering water. However, in contemporary times, there have been multi-pronged efforts to rehabilitate the resource. In today’s installment of our series, Milwaukee River Revival, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports on the growth of eateries and watering holes. Quite a few have boating docks.

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Milwaukee River Revival
3:11 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Condo and Apartment Projects Attract Outsiders

View from the balcony of Hansen's Landing condominiums in the Third Ward.

Before the economic downturn of the last decade, housing development – and sales, along Milwaukee’s downtown river were booming. The administration of former Mayor John Norquist and civic leaders at the time championed the resurgence of the historic corridor. It had decayed and people ignored the river. In Tuesday’s installment of our series, Milwaukee River Revival, WUWM’s LaToya Dennis reports that much to the delight of realtors, developers and local leaders, waterfront properties are again moving off the market.

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Milwaukee River Revival
2:24 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Along the Milwaukee River, Optimism Abounds

The Milwaukee River, on a somewhat colder day.
Credit Wiki Commons

All this week, WUWM News is exploring recent efforts to revitalize what was once a key thoroughfare through the city, but one which fell into decline decades ago. The Milwaukee River once was the catalyst for commerce and industry during the city's formative years and also provided recreation for the people who moved here. However, disregard for the river's health led to decades of decay.

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Milwaukee River Revival
2:21 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

New Housing and Commerce Highlight River Renaissance

New apartments and landscaping hugs the Milwaukee River.

We now continue our series about the revival of the Milwaukee River.

As we reported earlier, the City of Milwaukee exists here because of the river. It, with its mouth in Lake Michigan, supported commerce and industry in the early days, and provided recreation. However, no one tended the health of the river, so it decayed; and manufacturers left its banks, as trains and trucks replaced boats. The community abandoned the ailing Milwaukee River for decades, but a turnaround began in the 80s. The city initiated improvements, including Riverwalk, and worked with developers.

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Milwaukee River Revival
2:17 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

The City's Past Relationship with its Namesake

Rohn's Swimming School with tethered beginning swimmers.
Historic Photo Collection / Milwaukee Public Library

If you want to view a thriving strip of the City of Milwaukee – hop a boat and cruise the Milwaukee River. New housing and repurposed old buildings line the waterfront and its adjoining neighborhoods. Most vessels that cruise the river these days are not the working types of generations past, but rather pleasure boats.

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