Some Fiserv Forum photos (under construction and beyond) from my daily commute

In honor of the Milwaukee Bucks game tonight at Fiserv Forum, I thought I’d do a post with some photos of the arena that I’ve taken taken over the past several years. My drive to work at Milwaukee School of Engineering takes me right past Fiserv Forum every day, so I’ve been fortunate to witness the building’s entire life, from the hole-in-the-ground stage through today.

This is the first photo I took of Fiserv Forum, dated January 30, 2017.

I took this picture about a week later. It was on a fog-shrouded February morning (February 7, to be exact), and I thought the building looked especially skeletal, even spectral, in the mist that day.

A week later, I took another picture because I liked the way the sun was shining through.

Now that I’d started taking pictures, I began noticing progress and documenting it whenever something seemed interesting. These photos were taken in mid March 2017, following a snowstorm. We’re actually looking at the Bucks training facility here, which is kitty-corner across the street from Fiserv Forum. Construction in Wisconsin sometimes requires snow blowing  the girders.

I can see that I’ll never get this entry posted at the rate I’m going if I keep trying to talk about these photos. At the end of this blog post are some of my more recent (relatively speaking, as they are from summer and fall 2019, pre-pandemic) photos with a little explanatory accompanying text.

But here in the middle, just to get this post up before I have to head out the door for dinner with my friend Karen (who is definitely NOT a “Karen”!), I’m just going to create a string of photos, somewhat in chronological order but not guaranteed as such, to show the construction of the Bucks’ arena. These aren’t fancy. I mostly took them to show my family. These also aren’t all the photos I ever took of Fiserv Forum under construction. Had I but known that someday I’d want to have them all organized to share en masse, I’d have created an album in my phone long ago.

And now here are some of my “recents.”

The panorama below was taken in April 2019 as I walked across town back to my office from a conference that had been held in the Wisconsin Center. As I hit the intersection of State Street and (I believe) Fourth Street, I realized that I could see all three current and former homes of the Milwaukee Bucks: MECCA on the far left, the Bradley Center (being torn down) in the center, and Fiserv Forum at right. With the Bradley Center gone now, that huge, empty space is part of the outdoor viewing plaza for the Bucks–Suns NBA championship games. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

The picture below was taken on my way home from work on September 13, 2018. There must have been road construction somewhere around Fiserv Forum, maybe associated with tearing down the old Bradley Center? Anyway, I’m coming at Fiserv from a different direction, facing north on Sixth Street, in the left-hand turn lane getting ready to go west on Highland. The reason I snapped this one is that the two trees had recently been planted, and I liked the way their shadows fit so neatly into the “frames” on the side wall of what I assume is a loading dock area (I’ve seen trucks and other vehicles going in and out via doors on the south end).

I uploaded this next photo to my blog April 23, 2019, in a post asking if anyone recognized the font. No one did, so I’ll ask again. Do you know what this is? To me this looks vaguely Soviet, vaguely 1970s computer printout-y. So, kind of 1970s “high tech” but in a 1930s socialist-realism propaganda poster sort of way.

This next one is from June 3, 2019. My phone is not camera enough to capture what I experienced. This is on the sidewalk to the north of the building, facing east. The curved walls of Fiserv Forum seem really overwhelming from this vantage point, like they’re swooping out and up and dwarfing you in the process. If you visit Fiserv, try standing here, looking up at the wall and tapping into an almost breathtaking feeling of being at the bottom of a canyon.

Here is Fiserv Forum’s skywalk, taken on my way home from work in August 2019. I was stopped at the traffic light on Juneau in a spot farther back than usual, and it just struck me that I’d never seen the skywalk from exactly this perspective.

The Deer District has lots of “branding.” They’ve even branded the fire hydrants. The top of this one is a basketball. Not only is it a basketball, it’s a specific brand of basketball. This was a nighttime photo, which I took in early September 2019 when I noticed the Bucks logo the first time. I took a closer look one day during daylight hours and discovered that the orange basketball is a “Spalding” basketball. I wonder if they got some extra money from Spalding to include that 🙂

Finally, here is one of the most recent photos I’ve taken of Fiserv Forum. I just checked the date and found that it was November 6, 2019, on my way home from work. Thanks to the pandemic, I guess I just haven’t been out in the actual, physical world as much as I used to be.

And that is it for today! I’m off to drive through the rain to meet Karen for dinner. Tip-off is in about four hours. I hope the storm passes over town before then. Thunder and lightening would put quite a damper on the outdoor viewing party in the plaza outside Fiserv Forum.

(Go Bucks! ❤ )

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, History, Milwaukee, Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Some Fiserv Forum photos (under construction and beyond) from my daily commute

  1. That is an amazing documentary in pictures. I wonder if the Bucks would be interested in having the pictures. I bet they would!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. babsje says:

    Snow blowing the girders?? Deer branding the fire hydrants?? What a hoot, Katherine. I used to work in IT for a big construction company – we did projects like a terminal at LAX and Children’s Hospital in San Francisco – and one of my jobs was computerizing the equipment yard. Tower cranes for the win. So I really did enjoy seeing your photos over the year as construction progressed. Also meant to say that I liked your geometric light pole flower the other day. Very good eye to envision it as a flower. Hope you and not-a-Karen-Karen enjoyed dinner and your team wins (they’re not playing my team are they??) Best, Babsje

    Liked by 1 person

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