Grohmann Museum Rooftop Garden, February

iGrohmann Museum Rooftop Garden, February (#1)

If I have a small class, I’ll occasionally take my students up to the rooftop sculpture garden on a warm spring day. We carry benches from all corners to sit together for discussion. To keep track of our time, we need merely glance over at the enormous clock on the City Hall tower.

Obviously warm weather is some ways off.

Those apartment buildings at the left and center background (slightly obscured here by a thick curtain of wind-driven snowflakes) caught my eye when I first moved to Milwaukee. To me they looked like old Soviet bloc housing, although I had no vocabulary in my twenties to understand what I was seeing beyond Cold War imagery.

A few years ago I took students studying architecture and the rhetoric of public space up to the sculpture garden for class. One style we were discussing that day was Brutalism. Most examples in our text were European buildings. Someone asked if there was any Brutalist architecture in America, because they had never seen any. How totally cool it was just to point over at those apartments from our rooftop perch.

And we all had a good laugh over how invisible the things we see every day become!

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
This entry was posted in architecture, Art, Life, Milwaukee, Photography, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Grohmann Museum Rooftop Garden, February

  1. Sally Cissna says:

    Excellent post, Katie. The German “Brutalism” of Milwaukee. Another book to publish.


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