Historic Downtown Waukesha & Riverwalk banner hangs on
Broadway at Five Points.
WAUKESHA - What
comes to mind when you think of downtown Waukesha? A
springhouse? A guitar? The Fox River?
City Master Plan’s downtown committee is proposing using $15,000
left over in its budget to hire Milwaukee-based Savage Solutions
to create some logo designs that could be used on banners,
way-finding signs and other things downtown, said Community
Development Specialist Jeff Fortin. The Common Council will vote
on the branding contract tonight.
around and talk to business owners, shoppers downtown, elected
officials and others and try to get everybody’s vision for what
they think downtown Waukesha is. What does it mean to them? What
does it represent?” Fortin said.
several brands. “Historic downtown Waukesha” proclaims the brick
entranceway on Carroll University’s campus at Grand Avenue, and
“Gibson GuitarTown” is illustrated on dozens of murals
throughout the city - with a sprinkling of springhouses and
foxes thrown in for good measure.
said the committee agreed that it’s time for a fresh
downtown has its identity as ‘historic,’ but every downtown says
it’s historic. We talked about seeing if there’s a way to get
something more unique that will market downtown Waukesha
differently,” Fortin said.
“The reason we
are proposing this consultant is that they weren’t going in with
any preconceived notions - not necessarily a guitar-themed logo
or a springhouse logo. They’re looking at it from the ground
the banners and signs would be part of an ongoing effort to
“freshen up” downtown, which also includes the reconstruction of
Clinton Street next year and the replacement of many tree
need to reinvent anything down there - just to update and
enhance the image of downtown,” Fortin said.
Administrator Ed Henschel previously discussed adding $30,000 to
the budget for new banners downtown, but said Monday that the
money didn’t go into the budget because the banners are planned
to be privately funded.
downtown business owner and president of the Waukesha Downtown
Business Association said that when he thinks of downtown
Waukesha, he thinks of a creative culture.
“I think of
all the wonderful places to go for shopping and dining of things
like that ... the new image that I think has emerged since
GuitarTown,” Bruce said. “The springs are a part of our history,
but let’s look at what Waukesha has become and moved forward
into. It has to portray an image that says ‘There’s a lot going
on and this is a place you’d like to visit or live.’ I’m not
sure how that transforms into a brand, but it’s got to have
something people can catch onto.”
“I see what
downtown Waukesha could be - an active, vital community hub. It
is a place where we honor our historic foundation, while we to
move forward” said Catherine Huelsman, general manager of Berg
“I do think we
need to actively work to attract more businesses to the
downtown, as well as to all of Waukesha,” Huelsman added.
“Waukesha is a
center of creativity - drawing entrepreneurs, small business,
artists, musicians, and more. It is simply the best place to
be, for work and for life.”
there’s lots to be proud of in Waukesha, but he’s not sure which
should be the downtown area’s defining brand.
fond of GuitarTown but I don’t know that that’s our brand. I’m
also fond of the fact that we have the oldest institution of
higher learning in the state, but I don’t know that that’s our
brand either,” Henschel said.
“Our brand is
something about the uniqueness of Waukesha.”