08:59 AM

Milwaukee World Festival Inc. to construct new North Entry Gate and Plaza


The project, sponsored by American Family Insurance, links Henry Maier Festival Park to downtown Milwaukee

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials announced today that The Historic Third Ward Architectural Review Board unanimously approved plans to reconstruct the North Entry Gate of Henry Maier Festival Park and develop a new Community Plaza, adjacent to Urban Park. This new project, made possible by American Family Insurance, will not only connect the festival grounds to the new Lakefront Gateway Project and downtown Milwaukee, but add public amenities as well as provide an expanded and more efficient entrance for festival goers.

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. has selected Eppstein Uhen Architects as the lead designer, with Pierce Engineering performing the structural engineering, and CG Schmidt performing construction management services. Several of the existing structures will be demolished prior to the construction process to make way for the new buildings. The project will begin September 18, 2017.

The North Entry Gate and Community Plaza project will include:

  • New entrance gate & turnstile entry area
    • The entry gate will feature digital displays, lighting and a public address system
    • Additional turnstile lines
    • Unique signature design
    • New box office
    • First Aid Station
  • Community Plaza
    • A public space available to all community members visiting lakefront attractions
    • Accessible benches and seating areas
    • Interactive play structures themed around music and musical instruments
    • Bike Parking
    • Eco-friendly landscaping and interactive lighting effects

“We are thrilled to continue to be a part of the exciting developments taking place on Milwaukee’s lakefront. This new entry way to Henry Maier Festival Park will enhance the festival experience for our fans as well thousands in our community who visit the lakefront” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “We certainly feel these improvements are additive to the Lakefront Gateway Project. We want to thank American Family Insurance for making this new development possible as we continue to reinvest in the future of the festival, the lakefront and the facility,” he added.

“American Family’s partnership with Milwaukee World Festival brings together two organizations with proud histories of focusing on our customers,” said Rob Quesnel, American Family Insurance vice president of marketing. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to support the new North Entry Gate and Plaza project, and provide an enhanced experience for the 1.3 million visitors, not only from Wisconsin but from all across the country, who attend the many popular events at Henry Maier Festival Park.”

For more information and renderings of the project visit

About Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.
Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. is an independent, private 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 1965 that produces Summerfest, presented by American Family Insurance, an 11-day festival that generates approximately $181.3 million in direct and indirect economic impact for the community each year. Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. also maintains Henry Maier Festival Park, located on 75 acres on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, WI. In addition to Summerfest, Henry Maier Festival Park hosts a variety of ethnic and cultural festivals, concerts, walks, runs, and other special events, attracting nearly 1.3 million people.

The mission of the organization is to promote an understanding of different ethnic cultures, the histories and traditions of various nationalities, harmony in the community, civic pride and provide a showcase for performing arts, activities and recreation for the public and employment opportunities for the youth of the community. For more details, visit, or Twitter: @Summerfest.

About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance group, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2017, is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks No. 315 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General and Homesite) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web; Facebook; Twitter