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Eppstein Uhen Architects tapped to design new Summerfest amphitheater

Eppstein Uhen Architects will be the lead designer of the new American Family Insurance Amphitheater in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee World Festival Inc., the group responsible for organizing the annual Summerfest outdoor music festival and maintaining Henry Maier Festival Park, announced on Wednesday it had chosen the architectural firm to design the new amphitheater following a competitive selection process.

“In the end, it was EUA’s broader vision that lead us to our final decision,” Don Smiley, president and chief executive of Milwaukee World Festival, said in a statement. “We are excited to move the process forward and build a new American Family Insurance Amphitheater for the next generation of music lovers, Summerfest, and the city of Milwaukee.”

The initial design phase is to begin immediately, and officials expect to provide project timelines and renderings later. All construction and renovation projects at the Summerfest grounds must be approved by the Milwaukee World Festival Board of Directors and the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

The construction of the new main amphitheater at the south end of the Summerfest grounds is coming as part of a new 10-year partnership between the festival organizer and American Family Insurance. Upon announcing the new partnership early last year, officials said they expect work on the 23,000-seat structure to start in 2019 or 2020.

EUA has a history working with Milwaukee World Festival. Most recently, the firm designed a new entry gate and community plaza at the north side of the festival grounds.

“As the flagship venue for Summerfest, the Amphitheater has played a huge role in shaping the Milwaukee music experience over its 31 year span; hosting some of the world’s best artists to sellout crowds,” Greg Uhen, chief executive of EUA, said in a statement.

“Production complexity and fan expectations have evolved, and I am personally excited to reimagine the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, exploring new possibilities to elevate the experience for decades to come. This is going to be fun.”

About Alex Zank, [email protected]

Alex Zank is a construction reporter for The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1820.

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