Iconic ‘Bear on a Tightrope’ statue returning home on the avenue, inside the new 3rd Street Market

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The Milwaukee Public Market and 3rd St. Market Hall announced on Wednesday, December 29 a collaborative effort to bring back the beloved Professor Stein, also known as “Bear on a Tightrope,” at The Avenue home.

According to a press release, in 2013, Professor Stein was resurrected from hibernation and transferred to the Milwaukee Public Market to pay homage to a beloved piece of Milwaukee history. The redevelopment of The Avenue, along with the resurgence of West Wisconsin Avenue, allowed Professor Stein to return to his original location inside the new 3rd St. Market Hall.

“Professor Stein’s Homecoming celebrates an iconic period in Milwaukee history,” said Omar Shaikh of 3rd St. Market Hall. “The intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and 3rd Street will once again return to its prestigious roots. Professor Stein’s return home at 3rd St Market Hall will remind visitors and residents of Milwaukeeans of his past while cementing his future.

The press release goes on to say that in 1982 The Rouse Company developed the Grand Avenue Mall with traditional German influences featuring a whimsical 7-foot bear wearing a top hat and coat. costume, riding a tightrope on a unicycle. He was a huge tourist attraction, and many people fondly remember seeing him when they visited Grand Avenue Mall. When Northwestern Mutual Life remodeled the mall in 2004, the bear fell and went into hibernation.

“We are proud to offer a temporary home to Professor Stein for the past 9 years at the Public Market, where we have kept other relics that engender a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for our city,” said Paul Schwartz , executive Director. Milwaukee Public Market and Business Improvement District # 2. “The professor’s ‘homecoming’ is a great symbol of a revitalized development of the avenue and we look forward to exploring what will take its place in the market. “


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