On June 28, 2024, the City of Milwaukee proudly celebrated the grand opening of the Vel R. Phillips Plaza with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 401 West Wisconsin Avenue. This momentous event marks a significant milestone in the revitalization of the Westown area, paying tribute to one of Milwaukee’s most revered figures, Vel R. Phillips. Clark Dietz is honored to have played a crucial role in this project, providing construction inspection services, oversight, and coordination on behalf of the City of Milwaukee to ensure the success of this landmark development.

The Vel R. Phillips Plaza is more than just a public space; it is a testament to the enduring legacy of Vel R. Phillips, a trailblazer whose contributions to civil rights and public service have left an indelible mark on Milwaukee and beyond. Phillips was a pioneer in many ways, being the first African-American and first female to achieve numerous political and judicial milestones in Wisconsin. Her life’s work has inspired generations, and this plaza will serve as a constant reminder of her dedication to justice and equality.

The plaza itself is designed to be a vibrant and inclusive community hub. It features a Milwaukee County Connect 1 East-West Bus Rapid Transit station, provisions for a future Milwaukee Streetcar extension, and several public amenities such as a garden, informational kiosks, and a forthcoming food and beverage venue set to open this fall. An original art installation, commissioned by the City, was also unveiled to honor Vel R. Phillips, adding a unique cultural touch to the space.

City officials, including Mayor Cavalier Johnson and other distinguished guests, joined the community in celebrating the opening of the Vel R. Phillips Plaza. As we cut the ribbon and officially open this space, we reflect on the legacy of Vel R. Phillips and look forward to the plaza becoming a central part of Milwaukee’s thriving and growing Westown neighborhood. Clark Dietz is proud to have contributed to this project, ensuring that it stands as a fitting tribute to a woman who broke barriers and paved the way for future generations.

Clark Dietz Project Manager: Aaron Poster, PE

Want to learn more?
Read about the Vel R. Phillips project – Featured Project: Vel R. Phillips Plaza
Article in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Vel R. Phillips Plaza is opening on downtown Milwaukee’s west side

officials speak at the Vel R. Phillips ribbon cutting ceremony

officials prepare to cut the ribbon at the Vel R. Phillips plaza grand opening