SMPS Wisconsin Gets a Near Religious Experience at St. Paul’s
On Thursday of last week, representatives from Madison and Milwaukee-area AEC firms gathered at the recently completed St. Paul University Student Center on the Madison Library Mall for the final Building Tour and Happy Hour event of the season. CG Schmidt Project Executive, Brian Horras, who served as the construction manager for the project, led the tour of the five-story, 40,500 square-foot building that replaced the previous Brutalist Madison staple.
To kick off the tour, the group began at the top of the building with the open-air rooftop patio. Even in the sweltering heat, and with the threat of an impending storm, the group was able to enjoy the sweeping panorama, bookended by UW Bascom Hall to the west and the Capitol Building to the east, with a glimpse out over Lake Mendota.
The group then worked their way down through the building, with Mr. Horras noting key areas of detail in the design and craftsmanship of the building, such as the unique, hand-crafted pipe organ, the 300,000-piece glass mural on the façade, and the friezes within the chapel.
Just as the formal tour ended, and the group reassembled on the top floor for refreshments on the patio, a storm of near-Biblical proportions hit the isthmus, forcing the group to abandon the patio and watch the patio furniture blow around from safety indoors. Fortunately, the storm ended just as the happy hour was winding down, providing a happy ending to a great outing.