Esswein elected Harbor District president as park opens

Carolyn Esswein, professor of practice in UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning, has been elected president of Harbor District Inc., a nonprofit that in partnership with the City of Milwaukee is attempting to improve Milwaukee’s inner harbor area.

The election comes as the district opened its first park, Harbor View Plaza, adjacent to the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences. Visitors to the park can pump water, climb a 40-foot observation tower, fish or get on the water using the park’s canoe/kayak launch — the first ADA-accessible, free public kayak launch in the area.

Harbor View Plaza

The joint team of Quorum Architects and Ayres Associates submitted the winning design for the park as part of a 2016 design contest.

School of Architecture & Urban Planning faculty and alumni – including Esswein and Alyson Nemec, Quorum principal, school alumna and past president of the UWM Alumni Association – were deeply involved in the Harbor District’s planning and park-building. Esswein has been part of the Harbor District Inc. board since 2015 and involved in studio projects for the harbor since 2012.

Esswein says that her goals as Harbor District president include “ensuring sustainable public spaces are part of future projects, including educational elements and providing public access to the waterfront.”

Esswein added that job creation and economic development in the district also are top priorities of the board and its partner organizations.

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