With glasses raised at a festive pig roast, visitors on Saturday, August 10th enjoyed a “Turner Hall Open House” to commemorate some exciting new changes added this summer to the front of Turner Hall.
Three vibrant building signs were installed this past week, helping to clarify the identities of the different tenants of Turner Hall, while retaining the historical integrity of our important city and national landmark.
In front of dozens of media cameras and microphones, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett joined the Milwaukee Turners and their tenants in celebrating the completion of these significant improvements.
After a careful design and approval process with the city of Milwaukee and Historic Preservation Commission, the Milwaukee Turners partnered with our tenants (Turner Hall Ballroom and the Tavern at Turner Hall) to have the three new LED signs built and installed. Two smaller signs, one specific to the Tavern restaurant and another above the gym entryway, have been mounted along the first floor level of the building. After many years with very minimal branding for the gym, the bright new sign and Turners logo on the door should finally help visitors know how to find their way into one of the oldest continuously operating gymnasiums in North America.
The third sign, a 22-foot-tall vertical “blade” style piece, now adorns the northwest corner of the original 1882 structure (a two-story 1910 era addition to the building sits just north of that). The new signage was designed with the historical and architectural significance of Turner Hall in-mind. While the lighting inside the signs is modern energy-efficient LED technology, the color palettes used for the signage were intended to match those of the 19th century Romanesque Revival building designed by architect Henry Koch.
Besides the clearer identity branding, the new signs should draw more eyes and interest from curious visitors on-foot in the new Fiserv Forum plaza just up Vel R. Phillips Avenue from Turner Hall. At the press event unveiling of the signs, Mayor Barrett gave his warm blessings of the new signs and fondly recalled his family’s many generations of participation in the gymnasium and ballroom events. Turners president, Art Heitzer noted, “This is a contrast between the old and the new. We see the new across the street and we see 137 years of history here.”
In addition to the new signs, patrons dining in the Tavern at Turner Hall may now enjoy a meal or beverage al fresco on the restaurant’s new outdoor “parklet” patio. Mike Eitel, owner of the Tavern installed the new seating area earlier in the week and was serving outdoor during the open house event, which also included music and gym and game activities in the parking lot for much of the afternoon.
As the pleasant summer weather continues, we encourage you to come down for a walk or bike ride to Turner Hall soon to take in the sights and sounds of the ever-changing neighborhood, do some climbing in the gym before having a drink and dinner outdoors on the new parklet and then heading up to the ballroom for a show!