Proposed downtown Milwaukee hotel finally wins approval

Eloise Hanson By Eloise Hanson
06 August 2019 | Updated 06 August 2019

US: Plans for a boutique hotel have undergone several downsized revisions before being accepted by Milwaukee's Historic Preservation Commission.

The Kinn Hotel first caused concern for the city's historic preservation planners over the initial proposal to build an additional five storeys above the already four-storey building at 600 N. Broadway.

Developer, Charles Bailey, amended the plan to include a three-storey addition which was met with a recommendation to downsize yet again.

It was the one-storey design with a recessed penthouse level that finally saw approval from Milwaukee's Historic Preservation Commission on Monday afternoon.

Bailey said that a key part of the decision to further downsize stemmed from the inability to receive tax credits should the hotel soar higher than one storey.

Architect, John Vetter, has described the conversion project as "a handshake between new and modern architecture."

"I think this connection between the old and new is really important, so that we can come in and historically and faithfully recondition the outside of the four-storey existing building, but then come by with our very clean modern piece that creates a little bit of contrast or a juxtaposition makes it even better," Vetter continued. "It's like an exclamation point."

Vetter and Bailey both agreed that they feel good about the final plan, which will feature a reastaurant on the ground floor.

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