In 1977, the City of Milwaukee took a substantial creative risk by hiring famed pop artist Robert Indiana to paint the basketball floor at the MECCA Arena.
Amid skepticism and controversy, the world of sport and art converged making the MECCA Floor the World's Largest Pop Art Painting. The MECCA Floor catapulted Milwaukee as a forward-thinking, art-conscious city and ushered in a golden age of basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette Warriors.
Fast forward 35 years. While the MECCA era came to an untimely end in the late 1980's, when the Bucks moved to the BMO Harris Bradley Center, its legacy continued to live on in the hearts of a few Milwaukee residents. After being tipped off that the floor was being sold on an architectural salvage site, Greg Koller stepped in and purchased the iconic MECCA Floor in hopes of preserving its history while building upon its legacy.
On July 4, 2011 Greg died unexpectedly yet the day before his passing, encouraged his son Ben to move back home from Los Angeles to bring the MECCA Floor back into the collective consciousness. Some of his last words to Ben were:
"The MECCA isn't just a basketball floor or a work of art. It is an idea that represents going after your dreams. I want it to be a symbol of: Go after it and leave a dent in the Universe."
Following the call of duty from his father, and stern command of artist & mentor Bob Indiana, Ben moved back to Milwaukee to rebirth the MECCA Floor. His efforts have made international news with articles in the New York Times, Fast Company Magazine and an ESPN 30 for 30 short film entitled: The Floor that Made Milwaukee Famous.
The final chapter for the MECCA Floor is to be permanently displayed in perpetuity for posterity.