In 2000, Milwaukee mayor John Norquist expressed interest in reinvesting in a new Bronzeville--meaning that a sense of community would return to the important section of Milwaukee. While the idea was couched for a few years, the city has experienced another resurgence with Tom Barrett in office. Barrett, incidentally, was also quite critical about the original demise of 1940s and 50s Bronzeville, and has always been displeased by the highway routing when Frank Ziedler was mayor.
The new Bronzeville will primarily encompass the area in between Garfield and Meinecke, and 4th and 7th Street. North Avenue, comprised of most of the businesses, runs directly through the center. Public improvements are in order, including the beautification of streets and sidewalks and the ushering in of murals and banners. Plus, a cultural center that will focus on the history of the area (much like this blog) will be instituted, and much like the old days, a new music/jazz club is being proposed as well.
Milwaukee, under the auspices of the Department of City Development, is reportedly spending over three million dollars to buy land for redevelopment. Existing buildings will be improved and private investment will be encouraged.
On the residential front, an organization called the Bronzeville New Homes Initiative is planning to sell empty lots to potential home-builders for one dollar. That's right, one dollar.
And according to the Department, this project will put Milwaukee on the map as an even more exciting tourist destination. So the effort to restore the neighborhood that once hosted national jazz acts is now a top priority. So an area that has been laying dormant for over forty years is receiving a well-deserved boost to restore its prominence.
--reported by Lawrence (photo from Department of City Development)