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From a coffeehouse with a green design to a gathering place in a former industrial wasteland, from a dynamic railway station to a new airport concourse, from a face lift for what’s now an upscale Cajun eatery to the restored roof of an old Polish church, 27 projects will be honored today by Mayor Tom Barrett for contributing to Milwaukee’s urban landscape.

Barrett will present the Mayor’s Urban Design Awards, for design excellence, and the Cream of the Cream City Awards, for smart preservation, at a reception at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, 2131 E. Hartford Ave., at 5 p.m.

The design awards will go to projects completed by the end of 2007:
East Kilbourn streetscaping project, between Water St. and Prospect Ave., which included new plantings, lighting and improved crosswalks.

Shea Community Garden, at Shea and National avenues, for creating a gathering place and a perennial garden in an underutilized property from donated plants.

Menomonee Valley Community Park, 3500 W. Canal St., for creating a community park and being “one of the largest brownfield redevelopment successes in state history.”

Alterra Coffee, 2999 N. Humboldt Blvd., for its innovative recycling of old buildings and green design.

Lloyd Street Global Education School Rain Garden, 1228 W. Lloyd St., a large structure on an asphalt playground, for providing green space for children, staff and the neighborhood.

Walgreens, 2950 N. Oakland Ave., for establishing a smart, new prototype for the building.

Milwaukee Intermodal Station, 433 W. St. Paul Ave., a city-state partnership that created a new transportation gateway for the Amtrak station.

North Point Light Station and House, 2650 N. Wahl Ave., for rejuvenating a part of Lake Park that had become an eyesore.

Dr. Wesley L. Scott Senior Living Community, 2802 W. Wright St., for creating an environmentally sustainable building, including a rooftop solar energy system.

Old South Side Settlement Museum, 707 W. Lincoln Ave., for converting a 100-year-old house into a museum that celebrates Milwaukee history.

Kinnickinnic Storefronts project, 2212 to 2214 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., which contributed to the revitalization of a commercial district with a mixed-use development.

Brocach Irish Pub, 1850 N. Water St., for the restoration of a century-old, blighted, cream city brick building.

A project at 840 to 844 N. Plankinton Ave. that turned a turn-of-the-century cream city brick building along the Milwaukee River into a contemporary, urban space.

Capitol Crossing/Lad Lake School, 225 W. Capitol Drive, for a restoration of a 1920s building.

Maxie’s Southern Comfort, 6732 W. Fairview Ave., for taking over what was a well-loved deli and turning the building into an upscale Cajun restaurant, bar and music venue.

Convent Hill, 455 E. Ogden Ave., a new 10-story high-rise for safe, convenient housing for low-income, older residents.

Walgreens, 3333 S. 27th St., for being “Milwaukee’s first victory in working with Walgreens to alter its design of its stores.”

The 161 First building, 161 S. 1st St., a contemporary, four-story office and retail building for creating a humane working environment, a playful facade and for its expressive use of materials.

Let’s Party, 5444 W. Fond du Lac Ave., a $2.3 million expansion and renovation of a building that houses a party store, for creating jobs and establishing an elaborate African-American-owned banquet hall.

Mortara Instruments, 7865 N. 86th St., for a sensitive expansion of an existing business that incorporates natural light and surrounding woods.

General Mitchell Midwest Concourse C project, for its large airline gate seating areas, an atrium with increased natural light and remodeled dining and retail areas.

The Moderne sales center, at N. Old World 3rd St. and W. Juneau Ave., for its artistic re-use of industrial shipping containers into a sales office for a new high-rise building.

The Cream of the Cream City Historic Preservation Awards will go to:
Scranton Stockdale-built House, 2865 N. Hackett Ave., where a front porch was restored and aluminum siding removed to restore a historic exterior.

St. Hedwig Church, 1704 N. Humboldt Ave., for the preservation work and restoration of the copper roof at this 1886 church in the Brady St. area.

For the restored column at the Button Block Building, 500 N. Water St., and additional repairs to rotted timber underneath the building’s exterior load-bearing walls.

Pritzlaff Hardware Building, 1033 N. Old World 3rd St., for the restoration of the entire exterior of this historic building.

James Brown Double House, 1122 N. Astor St., for a thorough restoration of one of the earliest homes built in the Yankee Hill neighborhood.