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It didn’t always lead nowhere .pdf


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Brothers to bring
Daily
Newssoul
11/21/2015
bluegrass
to UW-WC

Copy Reduced to 90% from original to fit letter page

Page A3

It didn’t always lead nowhere
West Bend Outlet
Mall thrived for
years but only the
bridge remains —
for now
By LINDA MCALPINE
Daily News
Known infamously as the
city’s “bridge to nowhere,”
the enclosed pedestrian
walkway that spans the
Milwaukee River did at one
time lead somewhere — a
place that would, it was
hoped, make West Bend
famous.
The West Bend Outlet
Mall — which became connected to downtown via the
bridge — was touted as the
first of its kind in the
Midwest when it opened for
business Nov. 3, 1981.
In a West Bend News
story that ran a month
before the mall’s grand
opening, Lee Bohlmann,
then executive director of
the
West
Bend
Area
Chamber of Commerce,
said it would draw “a new
kind of shopper — the outlet store shopper.”
“These aren’t the kind of
people who are going to buy
refrigerators,” Bohlmann
said in the article, which
added “she envisions a
downtown full of speciality
shops and small outlet
stores.”
“The downtown’s future lies in luring the
stream of outlet mall
shoppers across the river
and into downtown,”
Bohlmann said in the
story.
Today’s “bridge to
nowhere” was the literal

John Ehlke/Daily News

Caution tape is pushed by wind underneath a bridge from Main Street to Veterans Avenue over the Milwaukee
River Thursday morning in West Bend.
way to do just that.
Although a map of the area
from the early ’80s shows a
“footbridge,” the enclosed
bridge was built in 1982
according to paperwork
submitted to the state’s

Department of Natural
Resources for a permit to
hasten its demise. It’s
removal is slated for sometime in December, West
Bend City Administrator
T.J. Justice said Wednesday.

“The enclosed walkway
was built in 1982 … to provide a climate-controlled
passage from Main Street to
the outlet mall,” the DNR
paperwork states.
The West Bend Outlet

“Remember when shopping was fun? Inflation stopped
that. Well, now, thanks to a new trend in retailing,
shopping can be an exciting experience once more.”
– West Bend Outlet Mall brochure
Circa 1981

Mall was a 50,000-squarefoot building constructed at
what was then 180 Island
Ave. that housed about a
dozen shops.
“I worked at Canda
Fashions, a clothing store,”
Ellen Dolnick said. “It was
all enclosed and it was a
nice place to work.”
Dolnick said she and
many patrons of the outlet
mall used the covered
walkway.
“It was a wonderful bridge.

Please see NOWHERE/A8

A symbol of support
Unique bracelets given to area cancer patients
By JOE
VANDELAARSCHOT

Copyright © 2015 Conley Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. 11/21/2015

a new journey is beginning for you and your
spirit — symbolized by the circle — which
can never be broken.”
Daily News
Scholz, a health technician and EMT at
HARTFORD — Breast cancer survivor Hartford Union High School, receives help
Laurell Scholz understands that someone and contributions from the community,
battling the disease needs plenty of support. including members of the HUHS student
During her treatment, she created the council.
November
/ Powered
by TECNAVIA planned to make 100 of
“I had
originally
Journey Bracelet Project in
2012. 22, 2015 2:04 pm (GMT +6:00)
“It was a way to keep myself busy and them, which I did by myself,” Scholz said.
when you work with others creating the “But with the help and contributions of oth-

6:54 a.m.

2:40 a.m.

FROM THE FRONT

Daily News 11/21/2015

ort through a long journey

Scholz said she wouldn’t
be able to continue the program without donations.
“I’m always in need of
beads from old necklaces
and old projects, beads from
a craft store or monetary
donations to buy the beads
and supplies,” Scholz said.
She’s had interesting experiences when encountering
people wearing the bracelet.
“I went to receive treatment and I saw a woman
wearing one of them,”
Scholz said. “She told me
how much it meant to her. I
told her I created them. She
was surprised and thankful.
That helped me understand
how much they mean.”
Scholz said she knows
one area hospital gives a
bracelet to cancer patients
soon after they receive their
cancer diagnosis.
“If it can help them, then
it’s worth all the work,”
Scholz said.
Scholz invites anyone
interested in making a donation or talking about their
cancer experience to contact
her at dovesandtrees@out
look.com or on her Journey
Bracelet Facebook page.
“I hope we put smiles on
the faces and love on the
John Ehlke/Daily News wrists of cancer survivors,”
splayed in the student Scholz said.

olvement in the program.
Just about everyone
ws someone who’s had
cer. Many people don’t
ize it affects so many of
Clement said. “The letwe get back show that
ve helped make a differe in people’s lives.”

d Union High School in
me bracelets are being
udent council.

Reach reporter
Joe VanDeLaarschot at
jvan@conleynet.com.

al inches predicted Friday

e bracing
ls, as the
es Friday

ransportw and ice
hwestern

WSI ©2015

part of the state. Six to 10 inches of snow was
expected in northern Illinois. The storm system was moving east and will last through
Saturday evening, when it tails through
Michigan.
— The Daily News contributed to this report.

John Ehlke/Daily News

ire season?

Center prepares a winter tire to have it placed on the
nd. Valind said that with snow approaching more
new tires or snow tires. “It’s tire season,” said Valind.
to a winter storm warning Friday by the National

Friday Numbers
erCash: 9-11-16-17-19-24;
bler: N
ger 5: 3-9-26-27-31

Pick 4: 4-4-3-6
Pick 3: 0-6-5

Copy Reduced to 71% from original to fit letter page

Nowhere: Bridge to come down in Dec.
It was lit at night and very
convenient,” Dolnick said.
Brochures, like several in
the
collection
of
the Research Center of
the Washington County
Historical Society, were
designed to promote the
West Bend Outlet Mall to
shoppers far and wide.
One features a photo of a
woman carrying an armload of parcels above lettering that states “Shopping’s
Fun Again!”
Inside, the brochure
notes, “Remember when
shopping was fun? Inflation
stopped that. Well, now,
thanks to a new trend in
retailing, shopping can be
an exciting experience once
more.”
“Factory outlet malls
began on the east coast and
have been enthusiastically
received by cost-conscious
consumers who are looking
for quality. You see, factories themselves are the tenants in the mall. And now,
the midwest has its very
first mall, the West Bend
Factory Outlet Mall in West
Bend, Wisconsin. You’ll save
from 30 to 70 percent on
quality merchandise direct
from the factory. Come out
to the West Bend Factory
Outlet Mall and make a day
of it!,” the promotional
brochure said.
Shops that were once
part
of
the
outlet
mall included Ambrosia
Chocolate, The Card Shop,
The Brighter Side, Center
Court Cafe, The Cookie Jar
Cookie Outlet, Dinnerware,
ETC.
Inc,
Houseware
Outlet, The Knit Picker,
Little Red Shoe House,
Manhattan Factory Store,
Newport Sportswear, Regal
Outlet
Store,
Rainbow
Fashions, The West Bend
Company Store, Sausage
Plus, The Paper Factory and
Winona Knits, according to
an advertisement brochure.
When it opened, the outlet mall was wildly popular,
as the West Bend News
noted it had “a packed
house” for its grand opening Nov. 3, 1981.
“The parking lot was full.
The
mall
will
hold
14 stores when fully leased
and all but three were open
for the grand opening, with
two of the remaining spaces
already leased,” the article
said.
A story from the archives
of the Washington County
Historical Society that
appeared in the May/June
1994 issue of “Washington
County Business” said
when the mall opened,
“the whole downtown West
Bend was overwhelmed
with success.”
“Busloads of people with
open wallets came from as
away as Minneapolis to
hunt for bargains at the
mall’s 12 outlet stores. Paul
Ronyak, then owner of
the Washington House
Restaurant in downtown
West Bend, reported turning away 50 to 100 people a
day, as roughly 80 percent of
the mall’s customers were
from out of town. As a
Nov. 14, 1981, West Bend

Copyright © 2015 Conley Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. 11/21/2015

Courtesy Research Center of the
Washington County Historical Society

Brochures like this one highlighting the West Bend
Outlet Mall provided a list of stores and a map to entice
shoppers to the city from all over the Midwest. The outlet mall opened in October 1981 and was connected to
downtown via a climate-controlled enclosed walkway
over the Milwaukee River. The 50,000-square-foot
building was demolished in the mid-2000s.
News article stated, ‘On this
morning, as every morning
since the mall opened two
weeks ago, the 210 parking
stalls
will
be
filled
by 10 a.m.’” the article
continued.
Ray Maus, owner of
Maus Jewelers at 930 S.
Main St., West Bend, operated a kiosk in the center of
the outlet mall for several
years.
“It was very nice but
being located in a mall is
expensive,”
Maus
said
Thursday, recalling the
retailer’s perspective of the
outlet mall.
Maus and Dolnick agreed
that while it remained the
only such mall, it couldn’t
help but be successful. But
once other, larger ones
opened near big cities like
Milwaukee, Racine and
Kenosha, the handwriting
was on the wall for the West
Bend outlet mall.
“I think when the outlet
mall in Kenosha opened,
that people decided that it
just wasn’t worth the drive
to come to West Bend,”
Dolnick said.
By
1994,
when
the Washington County
Business article was written, the outlet mall was
breathing its last. The story
points out that in addition
to competition from “mega
outlet malls,” like the
2.2
million-square-foot

Gurnee Mills just south of
the state line in Illinois and
two that were built in
Kenosha,
Highway
45,
which had led directly to the
outlet mall in West Bend,
was rerouted to a four-lane
bypass on the west side of
the city. Another reason for
the outlet mall’s struggle
was that national retailers
like Winona Knits moved
away from the outlet concept to more of an upscale
form of retailing.
West Bend’s Outlet Mall
had only three tenants
remaining when the building was purchased in 1994
by Fields Fine Furniture, a
company that had been on
South Main Street in West
Bend for 64 years and whose
owners, Leonard and Steve
Picus, jumped at the chance
to acquire more space than
the former outlet mall
offered.
That transformation did
not last and a decade later,
the building that had
housed a novel concept in
retailing and had, for a time,
made West Bend a shopping
destination was purchased
by the city and, in 2007,
demolished — leaving only
the “bridge to nowhere” as a
reminder that it had existed
at all.
Reach reporter
Linda McAlpine at
lmcalpine@conleynet.com.

November 22, 2015 2:06 pm

(GMT +6:00) / Powered by TECNAVIA


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