12/8/2019 – With an eye on both historic preservation and modern day concerns, and after thoughtful debate and research, the Lake Park Friends Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution on Ravine Road.
Based on the conclusions of three historic preservation consultants, the resolution supports reopening Ravine Road to vehicular traffic, restoring its original pattern and alignment.
However, the resolution also supports the idea of periodically closing the road, as well as speed reduction methods such as textured pavement, to address concerns of neighbors regarding traffic flow and safety.
The resolution also endorses possible bike or pedestrian use at certain times.
The LPF Board of Directors believes this compromise approach honors both historic preservation and current day issues.
A bit of background: Ravine Road cannot be opened until the Ravine Road Bridge project is completed – which is two years away. However, the Milwaukee County Parks Department is developing plans and cost estimates for a variety of options regarding the road.
Because Lake Park is a nationally significant historic park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, LPF was concerned that decisions affecting the park could be made solely based on cost. Because the County did not have funds to consult with historic preservation consultants on the matter, LPF hired consultants.
The three historic preservation experts independently concluded that the pattern and use of the road is integral to Olmsted’s design – even in the 21stcentury. Based on this, they all concluded that, from a historic preservation perspective, the road should be kept open.
It should be noted that, because of its historic designation, any changes to the road – as with any changes to the park – require approval of state and local historic preservation regulatory agencies.
Lake Park Friends stands ready to continue working in partnership with Milwaukee County to preserve and enhance historic Lake Park. Click on this link to read the full resolution: