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Back to the drawing board on Mequon's gateway

Mequon officials add their own visions for corner, park

A concept sketch shows the proposed plaza and gateway at the northeast corner of the intersection of Mequon and Cedarburg roads.

A concept sketch shows the proposed plaza and gateway at the northeast corner of the intersection of Mequon and Cedarburg roads.

Dec. 11, 2013

Mequon — It was design by committee Tuesday evening when the Mequon Common Council, convening as a Committee of the Whole, weighed in on the design of a landscaping and gateway project of the riverside park at Mequon and Cedarburg roads.

The preliminary design, completed pro bono by Mequon landscape architect Kerry Mattingly, includes a limestone plaza, wrought-iron fencing, amphitheater, and "Mequon Thiensville" overhead arch leading into the park space alongside the river.

Though the design won widespread acclaim among the council, Alderman Dale Mayr wasn't impressed.

"I'm not really enamored with this, with a great big archway that says 'Mequon Thiensville' across it," Mayr said, adding that he preferred Mattingly's work at nearby Cardinal Stritch University and that the park design doesn't give "enough statement."

Although Alderwoman Pam Adams said she did like the overall design, she thought the concept was "a little Victorian, a little 1800s," and should be either more contemporary or designed in the same art deco style as Mequon City Hall.

Other Aldermen commented that they liked the design and Mattingly's vision for the space.

Yet, as the discussion wore on, the list of potential design features grew as each of the aldermen weighed in.

On their minds were: pergolas, features to emphasize the river, a curved facade for the limestone plaza wall, places within the park for park goers to congregate, water fountains, and gazebos.

Mattingly and Community Development Director Kim Tollefson said they would review the council's ideas and come back with updated design options.

Regardless of what the final design ends up looking like, the council will likely be interested in some level of private funding and construction phasing to help the city bear the cost.

"I would think that a great deign implemented over a long period of time is better than a poor design implemented immediately," Alderman Ken Zganjar said.

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