Civic: Grandad Bluff Scenic Overlook

La Crosse, WI

The City of La Crosse looked to River Architects when it was time to restore its crown jewel, the Grandad Bluff Scenic Overlook. This multi-phased project involved stabilization of the site, ADA compliance, historic preservation and environmental considerations. River designed a new observation plaza and oversaw the historic restoration of the original 1938 park shelter.

Protecting the original limestone (quarried from Grandad Bluff) and timbers was essential, thus chemical cleaning methods were not used. Historic photos and drawings of the shelter were a guide to the painstaking restoration, updating the shelter yet preserving the original look and feel of the building.

This project was the recipient of an American Public Works Association Award for Small Cities/Rural Communities/Historic Restoration in 2013.