American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Merit Award - $15 million to $75 million

Music lovers have raised the roof at Summerfest’s permanent venue since 1987. With modern stage acts requiring more vertical space, the project team had to raise the roof, too--to the tune of 26 ft.

Judge comment: “It is truly innovative to be able to analyze the existing structure from the 80s, to be able to come up with a cost-efficient system of lifting the trusses and developing the methodology to cut them loose, keep them stable, and to be able to reattach them 26 ft higher than what was originally designed. It's very cost-effective to reuse these existing structures as opposed to the environmental impacts of tearing them down. It's a great example of what can be done with steel in these adaptive reuse situations.” -David Horowitz, executive vice president, AECOM Tishman

Owner: Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. (Summerfest), Milwaukee
Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee
Structural engineer: Larson Engineering, Inc., Wauwatosa, Wis.
Fabricator: Ace Iron and Steel, Inc., Milwaukee *AISC full member*
General contractor: Hunzinger Construction, Brookfield, Wis.
Detailer: Nu-Way Drafting Corp., Wausau, Wis.
Erector: SPE, Inc., Little Chute, Wis. *AISC associate member*
Consultant: Mammoet (formerly ALE Heavy Lift), Rosharon, Texas

  • Project Category: Year 2023
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI
  • Submitting Firm: Larson Engineering, Inc.
  • Photo Credit: 1, 2 - Eppstein Uhen Architects; 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 - Robert Schumacher; 6 - Larson Engineering, Inc.; 7 - Mammoet