Broadway Corridor

The Curtain Rises on Broadway

$200+ Million of Investment Completed Since 2018

Broadway, a primary corridor between the central business district and Historic Third Ward, is undergoing a renaissance. Defined by state-of-the-art public transportation, world-class office and retail space, cutting-edge art, and the vibrancy only one can find in the heart of the city, Broadway has transformed with over $200 million of investment since 2018. 

Identified as a catalytic project area in the 2010 Downtown Comprehensive Plan, Broadway is coming into its own with projects like BMO Tower, a 25-story, modern high-rise, the Huron Building, an 11-story, multi-use building, and the Hop streetcar. In the Historic Third Ward, Broadway boasts one-of-a-kind boutiques, fine dining and casual eateries, and the iconic Milwaukee Public Market -- a staple for any Milwaukee itinerary. 

Historic Third Ward

A Vibrant Mixed-Use Neighborhood Steeped in History 

Just south of I-794, Broadway transforms into the "main street" for the Historic Third Ward, a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood steeped in history around every corner. It's home to downtown's most visited attraction, the Milwaukee Public Market, located near the I-794 elevated freeway, a mix of national and independent retailers, and the city's largest concentration of art galleries.

In recent years, Broadway has welcomed new developments, including the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, the first-of-its-kind in the market, and the first hotel to open in the Historic Third Ward. From architecture firms to ad agencies, Broadway is a creative enclave, a hipster haven, and a shopper's paradise. 

For more information on the Historic Third Ward, click here

Catalytic Projects on Broadway

Brighten the Passage

Project Recognized with an "Award of Excellence" from the International Downtown Association

The City of Milwaukee's 2010 Downtown Comprehensive Plan identified new gateway opportunities to strengthen neighborhood connectivity with methods to remove perceived barriers. To fulfill this strategic vision, murals, streetscaping, and improved lighting have been completed underneath the I-794 elevated freeway to complement the $200+ million investment in surrounding projects completed on Broadway.

Building on this momentum and downtown's nighttime economy strategy recommendations, a unique, public-private partnership was forged and brought together the State of Wisconsin's Department of Transportation, the City of Milwaukee, Historic Third Ward Association, Milwaukee Public Market, BID #2, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and the private sector for a project dubbed "Brighten the Passage."
New street-level activation includes four murals on the freeway piers on Broadway and programmable, dynamic lighting on Broadway and Water Street, between St. Paul Avenue and Clybourn Street. With the added visual appeal, the corridor successfully strengthens the connection between the central business district and Historic Third Ward neighborhoods. 

See the Project's Before & After Story

Public Art

Creating a Dynamic Sense of Place

Adding color to enliven the pedestrian experience underneath the freeway, four artists, each with a Milwaukee connection, transformed the Broadway freeway piers into Milwaukee's newest outdoor art gallery. With distinct styles, this collection of murals adds to downtown's growing street art scene, including "Migrationby Janson Rapisarda (CERA Street Art) and Katie Batten, commissioned by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, and the Downtown Placemaking Task Force in 2018 in the Jefferson Street pedestrian tunnel, located two blocks east of Broadway. 

Brighten the Passage muralists include Tia Richardson (Cosmic Butterfly Design), The Couto Brothers, Dave Watkins (Real Abstract), and Josephine Rice. Completed in the fall of 2020, the new murals welcome visitors to both districts. Share your experience using #brightenthepassage. 

See the Completed Murals Here

Nighttime Lighting

New Lighting Places Spotlight on Broadway

Dynamic lighting enlivens the nighttime pedestrian experience on Broadway and Water Street, between Clybourn and St. Paul Streets. The lighting, attached to the freeway piers, signals The Hop streetcar's arrival to the Historic Third Ward and features a nightly light show that will alternate regularly for events, sports teams, and holidays.

The public can interact with the new, colorful spotlights on the sidewalks. Post your photos using #brightenthepassage and tag Milwaukee Downtown (@mkedowntown) on Instagram. How will you Brighten the Passage?

Thank You to our Public-Private Partners

Thank You to our Lighting Design Partners