Wisconsin Center District Reaches New Heights with Topping Off Ceremony of Baird Center

The Wisconsin Center, now named the Baird Center, celebrated a major milestone in its construction with a topping off ceremony on Wednesday, May 10th. The ceremony marked the placement of the final steel beam on the center’s building frame, a significant achievement in the progress of the project, and to the structural engineering team.

"As the engineer on both the original Wisconsin Center, and now the expansion — GRAEF is proud to be working with a world-class team to deliver a project that Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin need,” said Mike Vogel, GRAEF lead structural engineer on the expansion project." “Every steel plate, bolt and connection were designed by over 60 structural engineers local to Milwaukee."

The topping off ceremony was attended by key representatives from the Wisconsin Center District (WCD), including Marty Brooks President and CEO, among others including Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Baird Chairman and CEO Steve Booth, Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Anne Sayers and VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith.

“This day represents a turning point in the project. After today, we will really start to see it come to life,” Marty Brooks, Wisconsin Center District President and CEO said.

The $456 million Baird Center is set to become the premier event space in the region, with state-of-the-art facilities and a prime location in the heart of the city. The center will feature over 300,000 square feet of flexible event space, 24 new meeting rooms, six new loading docks for a total of 22, 400+ indoor parking spaces, and a spectacular rooftop ballroom with sweeping city views from the outdoor terrace.

The Baird center will be able to accommodate events of all sizes, from small business meetings to large-scale conferences and conventions.

“This will allow us to not only solicit larger events, but host multiple events simultaneously or overlapping, putting more heads in beds for our hotel partners and more table turns for the restaurants, bars and taverns in Milwaukee. The expansion will incorporate unique elements of Milwaukee and state-of-the-art amenities that meet today’s needs and industry trends for decades to come,” Brooks said.

The Baird Center is expected to have a significant impact on the local economy, with the ability to attract large-scale events and bring in visitors from all over the world. The center is also expected to create jobs and generate revenue for the surrounding businesses, further contributing to the growth and development of the city.

Construction on the Baird Center expansion began in 2021, and the project has been progressing steadily ever since. The Baird Center is on track to open in 2024.