The Real Shorewood Icon
The most visible building in Shorewood is getting a facelift? And yes, we are paying for it! Come share your thoughts about the ramen-noodle, faux eyelash, playground equipment additions to one bank in Shorewood.
What is it? Are they done? Who is doing that? Is it a playground? Is it eyes? Is it the bank logo? What do you think it looks like? Tell us now!
Many have asked, and I have wondered myself, where is the North Shore Bank going with this playground equipment out front?
So, I did a little digging and it turns out this facade improvement was approved by the Village of Shorewood and the Community Development Authority last February.
Not only that, but the building's owner was approved for one of those elusive "facade" grants to put it up.
It just seems ironic, that here something very significant to the aesthetic and visibility of the village was able to pop past the CDA and pass the Facade Improvement Grant test... while simultaneously, a careful, painstaking, visual and expert decision about a certain world-famous Plensa sculpture was taking place. Precautions and planning and inviting the artist here from Barcelona to plot the base and height for safety and visual impact took place over a year (and, by the way, the sculpture, base, lighting and plantings were generous donations to the village), and still incurred much public discussion about the impact on the village. To the contrary, the bank addition did not, because perhaps it is not billed at "public art?" The bank building thing, what do we do with it? Could we borrow it to make a fence at Atwater Beach?
All joking aside, these additions look rather sturdy to me and ready for play. I have already had to keep at least one kid off of it, as it looks like playground equipment. It is at ground level, with the first rung within reach. What is to keep anyone from taking a noon-time climb? Seems inviting enough. They are accessible by design to passers-by. They look, in the renderings, to be purposely interactive. This "facade" on the North Shore Bank (colloquially the Badger Bank) building went to one committee meeting (according to public record). There was/is no public outcry, no rampant viral emails about the base or direction it is facing. This "work" will be funded by Shorewood, and will speak more for the village's aesthetics than any other structure because of its placement and visibility. Where is the shock and awe best directed? To the village — let's find out what this is costing taxpayers. It's a bank. Do they really need our sewer-liner- and Atwater bluff-strapped-taxpayers to pay for their curiosity that didn't have to pass any vote or referendum?
The building's location on the main intersection of Shorewood has long made it a beacon and the signature to Shorewood. I remember when it had a flashing clock and temperature (or was it time and date?) on the top that you could read from the bridge at Capitol Drive and Wilson Bouelvard. Plus, who could forget that it was the only Tyme (ATM) machine in the village, with people popping in and out of there like popcorn? It was like the village center, the building you grew up trusting.
So let's watch and learn, as more of Shorewood becomes a jungle... gym, and wonder, in our minds, what message it sends about Shorewood.
And yes, we’re paying for that.
For the details look at the archives on the Village of Shorewood's website.
"Community Development Authority Approves Facade Grant for North Shore Bank Building. On Friday, February 5, 2010, the Village's Community Development Authority recommended approving a facade improvement grant for the North Shore Bank Building at the corner of Oakland Avenue and Capitol Drive. Architects drawings 1,2,3."
What do you think it looks like? Tell us now!