view of the existing pier on Fowler Lake from the
OCONOMOWOC — A new vision of the Fowler Lake shoreline
is taking shape.
Oconomowoc’s park and recreation department recently
released detailed preliminary images online created by
design firm Stantec for the Fowler Lake Shoreline
February, Stantec revealed the “visioning” images of the
multiyear project at an open house and later that day at
a meeting of the Parks and Rec Board.
images are being called drafts, because they are
intended to to inspire and explore what is possible with
the Fowler Lake waterfront, John Keliher, parks and
recreation director, said.
Feedback about the plans from the meeting and from
online submissions are being tabulated now, Keliher said
in an email.
designs encompass the entire three-section project from
the Village Green to the boat launch near St. Paul
Lutheran Church on East Pleasant Avenue.
Fong’s Chinese Restaurant
is conspicuously absent in the concept designs.
first section of the project — though not the first
phase of it — is the Village Green. The designs include
a new pavilion with restrooms and warming house for
winter skaters, enhanced parking and a new pier that
would connect the section to the boardwalk.
Keliher and representatives from Stantec pointed out an
obvious difference between the concepts and reality:
Fong’s Chinese Restaurant is not in the middle of the
building is currently smack in the middle of the
project, its owner Tommy Lin and the city at loggerheads
over a price for the property.
boardwalk area is the second section, but the first
phase of the project. Stantec presented several options
for the section.
city received grant money from the Oconomowoc Area
Foundation, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and a
community development block grant.
Changes in the designs include several “bump outs” on
the boardwalk that would create more intimate spaces for
residents on the Fowler Lake walk. The designers said
they hope to create spaces conducive to gathering and
creating life moments. Deck chairs, picnic tables and
other such amenities could be added in the spaces.
The current gazebo and
boardwalk are showing their age, but are still a
prominent part of the community’s memories.
A view of the current boardwalk and
gazebo from the lake.
of the more grand suggestions in the designs included a
boardwalk extension that connects the Village Green pier
to the boardwalk, and could include a small open-air
building on the pier, and a bridge area to accommodate
skaters and paddlesport enthusiasts using the water.
Keliher hopes construction will begin as soon as this
fall, but stressed these are concepts.
city will be reviewing suggestions, incorporating them
and working out new options with price estimates in the
boat launch would remain in the area near St. Paul
Lutheran Church. The designs expand the pier there and
include a canoe and kayak launch area.
One-way traffic lanes would help make better use of
parking in the lot, but in the designs about five spaces
are lost to larger facilities.
screening device for a portable toilet (a DNR
requirement near boat launches) is also a consideration.
concept shows improved trail access and a shoreline