Milwaukee Lake Park
Lake Park Summer Stage
The Lake Park Summer Stage is set in Lake Park, a138-acre park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893. The Park was one of three that the Park Commission created at that time (Washington Park and Riverside Park are the other two). Lake Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993; the Lake Park Friends (LPF) offers a great history of the Park which highlights important times and development of the Park.
Lake Park Summer Stage had a private dedication in June 2012 and it was publicly inaugurated at a July 2012 concert. This newer stage had been on the wish list of LPF for quite a while when the Windhover Foundation approached it with a major gift offer to be given in memory of Richard A. Burke, founder of Trek Bicycles. Mr. Burke had lived nearby and enjoyed attending the summer concerts which were then held on a plain green plywood platform. The offer all fit together perfectly, and, course, was accepted. The Burke family also contributed additional funds along with the LPF which helped cover extra costs such as landscaping and lighting. The total cost was $140,000.
Joel Krueger of Kubala Washatko Architects designed the Stage after feedback and initial sketches from a committee. Dahlman Construction prepared the site and built the concrete foundation. The timber structure arrived in pieces from Timberpeg (a New Hampshire company) and was assembled on site. LPF currently pays for maintenance of the stage, such as cleaning and sealing the wood structure.
Since the summer of 1987, the free "Musical Mondays" and also "Wonderful Wednesdays" have been held at the Lake Park Summer Stage. The Music in the Park series in 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lake Park Friends manages the concert bookings; Milwaukee County Parks rents it for other events such as wedding ceremonies. As of early May 2021, no concerts had been envisioned. However, from late July through late August, both Musical Mondays and Wonderful Wednesdays have been scheduled.