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Milwaukee Art Museum Cudahy Gardens

GRAEF worked with Dan Kiley on the development of this public space at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The entrance plaza is roughly 450 feet by 50 feet and is constructed entirely of granite cobbles and pavers. The entry stairs are bisected at acute angles by sloping accessible walkways. This plaza serves the main building entrance and contains outdoor sculptures. The prow plaza is located adjacent to the eastern building façade as a connection between the new art museum restaurant and the Lake Michigan pedestrian walkway.

This plaza is also constructed entirely of granite cobbles and pavers, and a low granite wall is located around the plaza perimeter as auxiliary seating. The space is used for informal outdoor dining and seating, and offers perhaps Milwaukee’s best view of Lake Michigan.

The main arrival plaza, the Cudahy Gardens, is a 700 feet long and 100 feet wide, paralleling the new building addition. Rows of evergreen hedges and pedestrian walkways divide the space into five smaller lawn spaces with granite-cobbled plazas at either end. Each plaza is anchored by 40-foot diameter monumental granite pools, which contain equally impressive 40-foot high columns of water. A narrow water canal ties the pools together and 2,000 jets within the canal are programmed to create a 550-foot-long transparent curtain of water between the pools.

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Project Data

140,000 Square-foot Addition
$75 Million Addition Cost
$125 Million Total Project Cost


GRAEF Services

Site/Civil Engineering
Landscape Architecture
(In association with Dan Kiley)

Milwaukee Art Museum Cudahy Gardens Contact

Kressin, Pat Cropped

Pat Kressin

Vice President of Business Development