Milwaukee Avenue provides much of the inspiration for the new Greenways concept. A quiet oasis of green space just south of bustling Franklin Avenue in the Seward Neighborhood, Milwaukee Avenue has become a much-loved sanctuary. Originally built as railroad worker-housing, the homes and lots on Milwaukee Avenue are smaller than average, and many were slated for demolition in the 1970′s due to their dilapidated condition. To save this unique two-block stretch of small homes, a historic district was created. The street was closed to car traffic, and converted into a linear park, forming the core of a broader neighborhood revitalization effort. Both Milwaukee Avenue and the overall effort to spur reinvestment in the Seward Neighborhood were successful.
Being only two blocks long, Milwaukee Avenue isn’t intended as a park of city-wide importance. However, the Milwaukee Avenue model could be used to create longer linear parks that would help reshape our region.
Milwaukee Avenue demonstrates that converting a street into a park can transform a neighborhood by providing a uniquely peaceful getaway. The pictures on this page attempt to capture the feeling of the place, but the best way to see Milwaukee Avenue is in person.