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Colectivo Lakefront

Formly Alterra Coffee Roasters

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The product of the partnership between the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD) and Colectivo Coffee Roasters (formerly Alterra) has resulted in a project that is devoted to education, ecology and resource efficiency. In 1888, the City of Milwaukee constructed the Flushing Station to address the growing problem of “the river nuisance.” The the pump was designed to move more than 500,000,000 gallons of lake water per day to flush the lower Milwaukee River of excessive pollution and waste. The pump is fully functional and in original condition although it was converted from coal power to electricity in 1912.

Located along Lake Shore Drive on Milwaukee’s lakefront, Colectivo sits adjacent to a popular bike path offering outdoor seating and weekly musical guests to perform for patrons during the summer. The building is used as an educational space and interpretive center to teach the public about preservation and conservation as well as waste water technology.

Currently the building is on the National Engineering Register and the City of Milwaukee Register of Historic Places.


  • WGBA, SE2 Award of Merit, 2005
  • The Cream City Historic Preservation Award, 2005
  • WI Trust for Historic Preservation Award, 2004
  • Milwaukee Historical Society Preservation Award, 2003
  • WCREW, Spirit of the Community Award, 2003

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