The Milwaukee Road Monument

A sculptural work honoring the Milwaukee Road workers

The selection committee, comprised of local public art and Milwaukee Road experts and representatives from the Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail, City of Milwaukee, and the Menomonee Valley Partners, were impressed by the high quality and thoughtfulness of each of the final proposals. Many factors went into the final decision including public feedback (collected online and at the public meeting), artistic quality, appropriateness for the location, safety, and budget. We are happy to announce that Richard Taylor's People of the Road was selected and will be installed in June of 2018.

Taylor is a native of Milwaukee, with commissioned work located around the country. He has worked with many organizations over the years to integrate his sculptural work into specific settings.

The Milwaukee Road Monument will tell the rich story of the Milwaukee Road and honor the Milwaukee Road workers. The permanent artwork will create a new landmark, linking the landscape to history and activating the space.

People of the road will be located near the corner of West Canal Street and West Milwaukee Road is the spot where the Milwaukee Road Rail Shops' chimneys once stood. Now along the Hank Aaron State Trail, it is a highly visible area with hikers, joggers, cyclists, and between 6000 to 7700 cars passing by daily.

The Rail Shops are an important part of Milwaukee's history. In the early 1900s, the railroad was the largest employer in Milwaukee employing 5500 of its famously skilled and dedicated workers in the Menomonee Valley. Many of them lived and raised their families in the surrounding neighborhoods.

In 2010, the last vestiges of the Milwaukee Road Rail Shops, the chimneys, were demolished due to structural issues and concern for safety. The chimneys had stood as a visual historical reminder of this history. A small amount of interpretive signage along the trail continues to tell the story, but a strong, engaging visual statement is missing.

Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail, Menomonee Valley Partners, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee are working together to commission a sculpture that will be a powerful reminder of the role the Milwaukee Road and their employees played in the history of the city. Our goal is to raise $250,000, and to have the work installed. Your donation would be a great help in ensuring that this goal is met.

Or mail to:
Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail
2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53212

Milwaukee Road Shops

Overhead view of the Milwaukee Road Shops property with the 35th Street viaduct running across the middle of the page. The former chimneys are on the west side of the viaduct. All structures relating to the Milwaukee Road are now gone. (Milwaukee Road was the commonly used name for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad.)