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Westlawn Garden

Transforming Wisconsin's largest public housing neighborhood into a sustainable mixed-use community

Originally built as barrack-style housing units more than 50 years ago on Milwaukee’s northwest side, Westlawn Gardens required significant attention to improve the lives of its largely low-income, minority residents. The team focused on financial, social and ecological sustainability to create a vibrant, pedestrian-oriented mixed-use area that challenges the traditional perception of public housing. By offering a mix of apartments, town homes and duplexes, all of which are designed to LEED standards, the community is able to meet the varied needs of its citizens.

Material and insulation choices for the homes were made to endure long Wisconsin winters, minimize maintenance, lower heating costs, and extend the life of the structures. Uniquely, the housing authority acted as their own developer, allowing additional funding to be directed back into the project for the second phase of the project, which will more than double the current available housing and incorporate additional market rate homes and rental units.