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  • Writer's picturejohn_dye

Facade Restoration - A Sneak Peek into the Restoration Plans for At Random

Updated: Jul 1, 2023


At Random conceptual image of the facade from the corner of Russel and Delaware in Bay View, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
At Random Cocktail Lounge facade conceptual image

Our facade restoration of At Random needs to take in to consideration several things:

  1. The mid century awesomeness that is At Random

  2. The victorian building in which At Random exists as well as it's connection to the historic rolling mill corner of Bay View.

  3. The modern needs of a business that still serves awesome cocktails to awesome people.

After removing the two layers of substitute siding that was covering At Random's facade and revealing the original size of the windows, we realized we could not simply cover At Random with a modern version of substitute siding, such as vinyl (ugh) or Hardiboard. We would have to restore the clapboard siding that is in such beautiful condition and, we would have to restore the size of the original window openings.


This presents its own design dilemma. If we were opening a new cocktail lounge we would surely open the windows back to their original size and restore the ceiling to it's nearly 12' original height. This is not the situation we are in. Our number one goal is to preserve and restore the mid century awesomeness of At Random and part of this is keeping the interior as in, including the beautiful mid century barrel ceiling that is shorter than the height of the 'original' windows.


We decided the right thing to do is to celebrate the modifications that have happened to the building over the years. To accentuate and celebrate the modifications that have taken place over the 150 years since it was built, rather than hiding them and trying to make the building something it's not.


As part of this, we want to emphasize the original window openings while keeping the size of the current window (which were installed in the late 50s or early 60s) and we will keep the scale and materials of the original building, while adding more mid-century detailing like bullet lights, stacked brick, At Random signage, and awnings. We'll be keeping the white and green color scheme which is such a huge, iconic part of the 59 year history of At Random. We'll also bring back some pieces that were lost to time, such as the iconic "At Random" neon sign that used to hang in the front window.


The corner of the building will be the new home to a piece of signage that will be custom designed to bring some mid-century flair to the corner. We can't wait!





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