Wisconsin Historical Society announced the 2021 Historic Restoration Award has been awarded to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s new Bradley Symphony Center for the restoration of the Warner Art Deco Skyscraper. This award recognizes the best restoration work of a Wisconsin historic property.
“In addition to restoring the historic exterior and interior features, this project required one major hurdle to be cleared. The original stage which measured 18 feet deep needed to be 53 feet to fit an orchestra. Rather than building an addition, the MSO chose to preserve the architecturally significant back wall and move it out 35 feet into a city street. Relocating a fragile historical wall 86 feet high, 100 feet long, weighing 625 tons was an enormous feat. After 18 months of extensive planning and engineering, the wall was carefully detached and slowly moved. This operation was studied nationwide as it was risky, rare, and the ultimate commitment to historic preservation.”
PE collaborated with a specialty design-build company to move the original east wall 35 feet further to the east. We were responsible for designing the foundation system used to support the wall in its new location and to support the conveyance system that moved the wall.
Another aspect of our work was designing the reconstruction of the first two rows of the balcony which were removed in a previous remodel. This brought the balcony back to its original location and appearance.
Congratulations to MSO and the entire project team on this dynamic, historic renovation project. We are proud to be a part of this team!