Saturday, June 21, 2008
Harley Museum rising
Long anticipated, greatly hyped, the Harley Davidson Museum is nearing completion. It's slated to open on July 12th.
It's a sharp looking piece of modern design, courtesy of New York City's Pentagram Design. Its factory-like aesthetic fits nicely into the Menomonee Valley, long the city's industrial center.
The campus is a bit sprawling for my tastes, but at least down in the Valley it's not taking away from denser areas. The Menomonee Valley is, by its nature, a large gap in the city's urban fabric. With no plans to change that, it's as good a place as any to host the museum, and having this sort of draw close to downtown is a definite plus.
I'm very pleased to see the riverside landscaping and paths that have been included as part of the campus; presumably these will extend the Valley's biking and walking trails further east. They form a sharp contrast with the brutal rear wall of the main Post Office building across the river, showing just how much attitudes toward the river have changed in 40 years.
As for the building itself, Whitney Gould summed it up nicely two years ago: it's no Calatrava-aping showstopper, but it's taut and disciplined, cooly and respectably modern. I look forward to seeing the interior, and what spatial surprises await within.