Since 1844, the landscape of the Pabst Brewery bubbled with activity as a tireless workforce concocted gallons upon gallons of the world famous Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. Elevator Building ‘A’ was at the heart of the brewery, lifting and pumping liquids throughout the complex. This structure was demolished decades ago, leaving an urban void in the center of the Historic Pabst Brewery. Rather than filling this particular void with a structure, the development and design team proposed that this sacred space become a public park.
The pocket park functions as both shady open space and celebration of the rich history of Pabst and the incredible Milwaukee workforce. A timeline is inscribed in steel panels along the most public edge of the park, featuring glowing glass vignettes revealing sunken artifacts directly from the active days of the Pabst Brewery. The clean turf panel is a public space for gathering and playing, while also housing an industrial-sized stormwater collection basin, collecting from neighboring rooftops to reduce peak flow within the city. At the southern edge, a rectangular sunken garden populated with a mosaic of wispy grasses and perennials also collects rainwater and provides a stark, year-round contrast to the industrial-scaled structures.