The Peck Pavilion is a part of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Milwaukee. It backs up to the Milwaukee River on the west, East Kilbourn Avenue to the south, and Water Street to the east. Along with the Peck Pavilion, the Center is home to Uihlein Hall, Todd Wehr Hall, Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, Bradley Pavilion, the Green Room, Anello Atrium, Magin Lounge, and Fitch Memorial Garden.
The Marcus Center opened in July 1969 after a three year construction period. Its original name was the Performing Arts Center. However, in 1996, the Milwaukee County decided to change the name to honor Ben and Ceil Marcus who donated $25 million. Chicago architect Harry Weese designed the complex in the Brutalist style.
At the Peck Pavilion there is permanent covered seating for 400 people. The roof is described in Wikipedia as space frame architecture, "a rigid, lightweight truss-like structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large areas with few interior supports." In 2012, the Peck Pavilion received updates and renovations.
Music concerts, dramatic presentations, films, dance performances are many of the types of events held at the Peck.
Many of the events are free.
A stainless steel sculpture by Allen Ditson, Trigon, is located along East Kilbourn Avenue. It was given in memory of Ida and AP Rosenberg by their daughters in 1970.
The Marcus Center received the City of Milwaukee Historic designation in 2019. At that time, there was discussion of removing the four rows of chestnut trees on the plaza leading to the Peck Pavilion which was delayed. Interspersed between the trees were cement benches.
In the fall of 2020, after much discussion starting in 2019, the City voted against the Historic Preservation Commission's recommendation to give the grove of chestnut trees any historic status. Thus the Kiley grove of 36 horse chestnut trees was doomed and removed in the fall of 2020. Daniel Kiley was the landscape architect who designed this plaza in 1966-68. Honey locust trees were planted around the perimeter of the grass lawn.