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Streetcar renderings beg question: Where will we park in the future?

The "before" photo looking over I-795 toward The Daily Reporter office in Milwaukee ... (Photo by Joe Yovino)

The"before" photo looking toward The Daily Reporter office in Milwaukee (sans orange streetcar) ...

By Sean Ryan

I’m glad Milwaukee’s streetcar stops close to The Daily Reporter offices, because the project renderings show a high-rise standing in our parking lot.

The city’s handout about the streetcar project is peppered with renderings of digital trolleys rolling through actual photos of city landmarks. There’s a purple streetcar outside of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station and a teal trolley rolling past the freemasons building on Van Buren Street.

But the renderings also show new digital buildings that magically appear downtown thanks to the streetcar greasing the wheels of new growth. The post office east of the intermodal station is replaced with a building that has a lot more windows. There’s a new 10- or 12-story building with a sushi restaurant in the first floor across Van Buren from the freemasons’ building.

There’s also a big blue high-rise sprouting from the cracking pavement where I park everyday. And there’s that purple streetcar again.

At least in the future rendering world, our office at 225 E. Michigan St. is going to see a lot of changes. This new blue building apparently will spur WisDOT to redesign I-794 just south of us to have “Third Ward” signs and stylish girders. A rendering showing the future of Broadway one block up from us has a new coffee shop and a steakhouse with a blue trolley rolling by. Hey, DPW, why don’t you get rid of that “No Left Turn” sign while you’re at it?

It doesn’t matter. I guess I’ll be leaving my car at home in this future Milwaukee and hopping the teal line to work, which will save me $100 a month on parking.

I just hope the people who work in our design department don’t see this. That blue building is going to block their view.

... and the "after" photo with a cool new parking structure where the building at 225 E. Michigan St. in Milwaukee once stood. (Rendering courtesy of the city of Milwaukee)

... and the"after" photo with a shiny, new building where the parking lot of The Daily Reporter's office once sat. ("After" rendering courtesy of the city of Milwaukee/"before" photo by Joe Yovino)

Sean Ryan, a staff writer for The Daily Reporter, fears the future.


  1. I can’t wait for the streetcars to come. It’s about frickin’ time we rejoined the twentieth century. Maybe in twenty years we can keep hopping, into the twenty first century with some decent rail between Madison and Milwaukee. The idea that the two cities shouldn’t have a common labor and services pool, simply due to an obsession with cars and no taxes, is ridiculous. I’ve lived in MANY cities Milwaukee’s size or smaller, in countries PAINFULLY poorer than Wisconsin, where their rail puts ours to shame.

  2. The city of Milwaukee apparently is using many “sunny” predictions for the streetcar. Not only do they show the sparkling new building somewhere around Michigan and Broadway, they also show that the streetcar is capable of producing a bright and glorious sun in the northern sky that miraculously casts shadows from west to east while still reflecting brightly on the southern face of the buildings.

    Gotta love artists’ renderings.

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