Years of exposure to weather and deferred maintenance caused the existing Milwaukee train passenger concourse, built in 1965 to deteriorate beyond repair. Together with non-complying accessibility and life safety code violations, an unkempt public presence, accentuated the need to reconstruct the facility.
Design and construction were challenged by uninterrupted traffic of 41 trains daily.
As a circulation appliance, designed to meet all the required ADA , NFPA and FRA clearances, the mezzanine was developed as a “blue” composite metal sculptural embedment within a “white” structural armature of columns and trusses sheathed in a by-passing metal and glass skin. Within the new white shell, the three-dimensional V shaped trusses in each bay , are fabricated of HSS welded steel tube sections . The top chords are infilled with skylights and the roof segments are spanned by a sheet metal box roof deck punctured by wind driven gravity ventilators over each pair of train tracks. The roof has also been equipped to accept a future photo voltaic array that exceeds the electric demands of the concourse. The day lighted space is complemented by night lighting that washes the walls and ceiling surfaces of the shell and stairs.
More important than its functional, technical and sustainability accomplishments, the reconstructed concourse demonstrates that a pragmatic program can also engender a significant public presence as an appropriate gateway and welcoming arrival and departure space for Milwaukee. The concourse transcends ordinary transit facilities while enhancing train travel by providing passengers a memorable impression.
J. P. Cullen & Sons Inc.