McPike Park Expansion
McPIKE PARK EXPANSION
In 2017 the Parks Division acquired three parcels at the corner of S. Baldwin Street and E. Wilson Street for the expansion of McPike Park. The expansion was identified in the McPike Park Master Plan (then Central Park) and adds approximately 2.5 acres to the existing 9.2 acre park.
The three parcels form a rough triangle, with the Wisconsin Southern Railroad (WSOR) to the north, S. Baldwin Street to the east and E. Wilson to the south. There are four existing buildings in the expansion area: an 18,707sf min-storage unit building at 202-208 S. Baldwin Street (Trachte building); a 2,479 sf office/storage building at 210 S. Baldwin Street; a 968 sf office building at 212 S. Baldwin Street; and a 13,875 sf office/storage building at 214-222 S. Baldwin Street.
The Parks Division is requesting demolition permits for three of the four structures (202-208, 210 and 212 S. Baldwin Street structures) and is exploring potential adaptive reuse opportunities for the 214-222 S. Baldwin St. building.
In response to concerns expressed by area residents to preserve the existing Trachte building (202-208), Parks Division staff reviewed the structure in early 2020 to determine its suitability for adaptive reuse. Several factors were considered during the review, including the building’s condition, location, consistency with the approved park master plan and completeness as an example of the Trachte building type.Based on historic aerial photos, the Trachte structure was constructed as a series of additions in the 1950s. It is comprised of pre-manufactured metal sections separated by concrete masonry block dividing walls. The building is between between the WSOR railroad corridor to the north and a MMSD (Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District) sewer main to the south. The structure is located in an enclosed depression, with the railroad tracks to the north, S. Baldwin Street to the east, and the 214-222 S. Baldwin building to the south at higher elevations than the building floor elevation. The depression the building is located in is drained by a single 8 inch storm sewer pipe to the east and a shallow ditch to the west. Site drainage improvements are limited as the storm sewer in S. Baldwin Street is shallow and the sanitary sewer main to south prohibits storm connections to E. Wilson Street. For the building to be occupied, there are structural and site drainage issues would have to be addressed to ensure tenants were in a safe building that isn’t susceptible to flooding. From historic preservation perspective, it appears the majority of the original exterior siding of the structure has been replaced at some point as the characteristic Trachte-style horizontal ribbed siding is no longer present. With these factors, the Parks Division began looking at potential reuse of the 214-222 building along E. Wilson Street. The 214-222 building was originally constructed in the mid-1930’s and has a connection to Madison’s railroad history. It is also more favorably located on the site and has existing water, gas and sanitary sewer connections. The 214-222 building is 13,875 sf compared to the Trachte building’s 18,707 sf.
The Parks Division issued a letter of intent to the to the district Alder, the Marquette Neighborhood Association, the Greater Williamson Area Business Association and the City of Madison historic preservation listserve on May 14, 2020. The letter states the Parks Division is applying for demolition permits for the 202-208, 210 and 212 S. Baldwin St. structures and is investigating potential adaptive reuse of the 214-222 building.
The Parks Division is open to working with private entities interested in relocating the Trachte building to a non-Parks owned site. In the meantime, to continue to make progress with the park expansion, Parks is applying for demolition permits for 202-208 S. Baldwin St. (Trachte building), 210 S. Baldwin St. and 212 S. Baldwin St. to prepare the site for future park-related improvements. Parks will continue to evaluate and explore adaptive reuse opportunities for the 214-222 S. Baldwin St. building. Pending approval of the permit applications, Parks anticipates completing building removals and site restoration to lawn by the end of 2021. The public engagement process for future park improvements is anticipated to begin in 2023.
McPIKE PARK TEMPORARY FENCE
As part of the McPike Park expansion, the Park Division is replacing the existing temporary fence along the south side of the railroad tracks at McPike Park with permanent fence. The existing fence was installed on temporary stanchions to quickly meet WDOT safety requirements for the railroad corridor. Per the City’s agreement with the WDOT, the temporary fence must be replaced with permanent fence by the end of 2020. Attached are photos of the temporary fence for reference. The new fence will match the style used north of the tracks and will be installed on the property boundary to maximize the available park area.
Parks is contracted with Raymond Cattell Construction to do the installation work, which will likely begin the next few weeks. The fence replacement project does not affect those using McPike Park for temporary shelter or the existing buildings on the former Sands property.