Ground breaks for Bay View "Art Stop"

CREATED Apr 28, 2014 - UPDATED: Apr 29, 2014

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BAY VIEW - It's never fun to wait outside in the cold, wind and rain for a bus. But soon the residents of Bay View are going to have a new shelter to protect them from the fickle Wisconsin weather, though it's going to be more than just a bus stop.

"Oh, I can't wait til it's up," Judy Vrana tells TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka as she waits for her bus on the corner of Kinnickinnic and Lincoln Avenues. It won’t be long for Vrana and other bus riders in Bay View. After three years of work and planning, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in the cold, rain to kick off construction for a new public art bus shelter to be referred to as the “Art Stop.”

Alderman Tony Zielinski was among those with shovels, he tells Ritka the piece of art will add to the growing community of Bay View, “This was the weak point in all the development in all the KK business district, I mean this was basically an empty triangle, an old dilapidated, bus shelter, now it's going to be replaced with a piece of public art that will be second to nothing in the country.”

Standing 32 feet high, the art piece will be as tall as the light posts currently standing in the triangular plaza. But the “Art Stop” will have its own ambient LED lighting, completely solar-powered, creating a one-of-a-kind landmark that’s already turning heads. “I got the picture at home, it's beautiful, yes it's beautiful,” Judy exclaims, though she’s happy bus-goers like her will stay dry while admiring the artwork.

“It has a pretty solid foundation, to say something perhaps about this area but it's open to interpretation, it's open to evolution,” Project Designer Roman Montotom explains.

Just as Bay View has evolved over the years, “It's positive way, everything's totally different,” Paresh Patel claims. He would know, he owns the Bay View Supermarket and has lived in the community for ten years. In hopes the community will continue to evolve, Patel donated the initial $5,000 to help get the project going and fill the empty isosceles that sits just outside his store window,

“I didn't do this one for my business; I would like to see my Bay View beautiful.”

The largest investment of $150,000 came from the estate of David John Dombrowski who worked for the Department of Public Works for 30 years and left his money to the city, a commemorative plaque will be place in the shelter in his honor.

Milwaukee County is contributing $50,000 to the project and they will own the “Art Stop”. The shelter and monument will be built on city-owned land and will be maintained by the Kinnickinnic Avenue Business Improvement District #44.