Henry Maier Festival Park - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
In 2011 – 2012, R.A. Smith National designed the site landscape plans for the multi-phased new South Gate and Entry Plaza, Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage, BMO Harris Bank Pavilion and Marcus Amphitheater Forecourt at Summerfest.
R.A. Smith National worked collaboratively on the design team with Milwaukee World Festivals, Inc., Eppstein Uhen Architects, Hunzinger Construction Company and a large, multi-disciplinary team of engineers, contractors and consultants.
The new area includes a new south gate, improved/expanded parking areas, bus loading areas, bicycle parking, entry plazas and raised planters, new stage performance areas, improved pedestrian-scale site amenities, decorative stone walls along the lake walk, additional vendor buildings and restrooms and renovations to several existing facilities. Large trees were incorporated into the design to provide an immediate landscape impact. The use of bold, colorful perennials and ornamental grasses were used to create a strong visual impact within the festival park.
R.A. Smith National’s landscape architect, Tom Mortensen, RLA, has been working on projects with Summerfest for the past 10 years. In 2002 the South Park Plaza was developed using new, contemporary planting methods to promote plant viability and longevity. In 2006 the new Miller Stage VIP Gardens were designed, which include seating areas, plantings, and a large sculpture of a palm tree.
The facility is home to an 11-day music festival- Summerfest, the “World’s Largest Music Festival”- as well as 10 additional ethnic and cultural festivals held throughout the summer.