A New Gateway:
Coakley Brothers Water Tower Building
Coakley Brothers Commission National Work of Art to
Crown Renovated Building
Kaleidoscope Water Tower will serve as a ‘gateway’ to Milwaukee’s design district
MILWAUKEE — Coakley Brothers, the legacy Milwaukee company known for its premier line of business services, is bringing back its iconic rooftop water tower — with a colorful, astonishing twist to pronounce the “gateway” to Walker’s Point and the growing design district.
Coakley Brothers have commissioned Brooklyn-based artist, Tom Fruin, to construct one of his signature mosaic sculptures of art at its 400 S. 5thStreet business headquarters. The public installation project is part of Coakley Brothers’ $6 million building renovation which launched this summer and is up for BOZA committee approval.
The art installation anchors Coakley Brothers’ presence in the Milwaukee design community. While the company is well known for its commercial relocation, facility management, and self-storage services, it has seen tremendous success with the launch of its office furniture and business interiors design division, Brothers Interiors, which launched in 2012.
The move has led Coakley Brothers to become “the official office furniture dealer” of the Milwaukee Bucks, as well as the state’s sole dealer and showroom for the West Elm WORKSPACE with Inscape line.
It was during meetings with West Elm in Brooklyn where Brothers Business Interiors owner Peggy Coakley Brothers first discovered Fruin’s work. She was driving through the borough when she spotted Fruin’s “Watertower” piece on top of a building. “My mouth dropped and I had my driver pull over to get a better look. The beauty of the piece was striking! I immediately thought of our own water tower base on top of our building and the possibility of putting one of these on our rooftop for the city of Milwaukee. I knew I needed to find the artist and bring this home.”
The Coakley Brothers water tower art project extends Fruin’s internationally acclaimed Icon art series. Similar to Fruin’s previous artworks, the soaring sculpture will crown the building and feature salvaged plexiglass, plastic, and steel arranged in a chromatic patchwork pattern. The inspired design provides a unique, kaleidoscopic adaptation of the water towers that heavily punctuated the American urban skyline throughout the 20th century.
Coakley Brothers say the prismatic water tower will be hard to miss.
In the daytime, the sculpture’s multi-colored panes will illuminate in the sun. At night, the sculpture will be lit to transform into a beacon of light from its central post in the Walker’s Point neighborhood.
Prime viewing locations for the artwork include Interstates 94 and 43; the archway of the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge; and from various points around downtown.
Coakley Brothers hope the public will see the sculpture as a symbol of pride for the city’s diverse and vibrant citizens.
Upon a BOZA committee approval, this will be moving forward in the next several weeks with a formal evening lighting debut.
Coakley Brothers want water tower sculpture to be a ‘beacon’ in Walker’s Point
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Coakley Brothers Commission National Work of Art to Crown Renovated Building
Coakley unveils rooftop art for renovated Walker’s Point headquarters
Three Coakley Brothers founded our company in the heart of a burgeoning Milwaukee in 1888. During those early days, any goods being moved did so relying upon horse and carriage for transport. Each Coakley generation proudly photographed people and places in order to record their milestones. Four generations later, we have archived those photographs and articles from long ago. If you are like us and nostalgic about images of anything historically Milwaukee, request a tour. Though we have preserved 130 years of images, we have carefully selected and enlarged just a few for your enjoyment within our Website and even more within our building.
Wellness Room and Company Gym
Coakley Brothers and Brothers Interiors believe that the wellness of our employees is critical to their personal and professional happiness. Our onsite gym is available for our employees 7 days a week. We have a dedicated Personal Trainer, Thomas Meier, who visits our facility to work with employees that want to take their fitness to the next level. We know that exercise increases alertness, facilitates creative problem solving, and provides an overall restoration of energy throughout the day. It is our hope that as customers and partners tour our facility to learn about our products and services, they with also take inspiration from our dedication to well-being.