Saturday, August 23, 2014
Years ago one of the Wisconsin Native American Tribes, the Potawatomi, built an elaborate bingo hall in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley, which had been a wasteland of abandoned factories, rail yards, and manufacturing refuse dumps, virtually in the geographical center of the city. Because it involved gambling and because it was located in an urban area, the bingo hall was nearly guaranteed to be a success. It has been more than a success, as it has morphed into Potawatomi Bingo & Casino, then just Potawatomi Casino, and now Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, including restaurants and entertainment venues as well as lodging and, of course, the real economic engine--gambling, or as they call it, "gaming."
Over the past year or so, I have been watching the hotel tower rise above some of the still desolate portions of the Menomonee Valley. I thought it might be an interesting photographic study, that is, until the structural details began to be filled in. Even so, I decided that I would take a look once the hotel opened, which it did in mid-August. Here are a couple of shots of the exterior, that I chose to render in black & white.
The style is boxy and, to my eye, reminiscent of the Seventies. I'm not sure what the jutting windows are about, but they don't make up for the rest of the style.
I thought perhaps the interior might be more interesting. Not true. Here are a few shots of the lobby interior.
Note the really unattractive furnishings. The ceilings, at least, are a little more interesting.
Still, I'm not sure what all of the irregularly shaped fake windows are supposed to do.
The only components that I liked were some overhead light fixtures leading from the hotel lobby to the floor of the casino. Here's a shot from directly underneath.
Maybe the rooms are nice.