University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Kenilworth Square East


For all its size - a mammoth 500,000 square feet of brick and concrete covering an entire block - the Kenilworth Building might as well have been invisible to its east side neighborhood.

In recent years, the six-story Kenilworth served as a warehouse for its owner, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It also housed the university's motor pool, mailroom and print shop, along with some rundown studios for students and faculty from UWM's Peck School of the Arts. A handful of people worked there.

But after a $68 million renovation, which created two buildings by splitting the Kenilworth in half, the property is now among a group of big developments bringing new life to the area.

"To have it be alive, and active and dressed up is a complete slam dunk," said Jim Plaisted, executive director of the East Side Business Improvement District.

The removeled Farwell Ave. building has been transformed into the 174-unit Kenilworth Square Apartments, with housing for up to 374 UWM students. Kenilworth Square opened in August and is 80% occupied, said Scott Peak, director of university housing.

Kenilworth Square is aimed primarily at graduate students and has a much calmer atmosphere than UWM's on-campus dormitories, Peak said.

Meanwhile, the Prospect Ave. building re-opened in October as a large auxiliary facility for the Peck School of the Arts, with revamped artists' studios for students and faculty, along with new music and drama rehearsal space, recording studios, classrooms and gallery space. The building also has added venues for music and theater performances, and a room for public screenings of student film projects.

Taken from "Kenilworth builds new ties to the community", by Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 5, 2006