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Let's get lit: The campaign to light Milwaukee's Hoan Bridge is off and running

May. 18, 2018 at 7:17PM

At night, the most iconic part of Milwaukee’s skyline rests in the background in the dark. You can see its shape, lifeless, and sometimes the moon (when it’s not obstructed by clouds) shines on the yellow beams to just give it a hint of existence.

How is it that such an identifiable part of our skyline, a monument that is purely Milwaukee (the Calatrava notwithstanding) has gone so long without dramatic lighting to illuminate it’s greatness at night?

Well, a group led in part by Ian Abston (Millennian, LLC, WiRED MAP) and Michael Hostad (Greater Milwaukee Committee) has begun a campaign to get the lights the Hoan Bridge so rightly deserves. Their goal is to crowdsource $1.5 million and have launched a website, which is accepting donations from $25 to $500. When you donate you also have the option to dedicate a bulb to someone who has had a positive impact on Milwaukee. It’s a worthy effort, and given the people involved feels destined to succeed.

Ian Abston

Ian Abston

This is a story that, at it’s essence, is all about making friends. It seems simple enough, meeting people, getting to know them, finding common ground, having a few drinks, and exchanging contact information. But the way Ian Abston tells it, if you’re a newbie here in Milwaukee, it is something that’s very difficult to do – and he set out to change that.

The campaign was kicked off last night at Milwaukee’s newest venue, The Cooperage on South Water Street. Milwaukee luminaries from local business, media, government, and the arts were all in attendance to witness the unveiling of the campaign. There’s a lot of positivity and firepower behind this and even Mayor Barrett was in attendance to say a few words.

Our bridge needs this. And in pure Milwaukee style, this could be the campaign that launches a thousand “let’s get lit” jokes.

I’m on board.