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Renderings for new Milwaukee Public Museum building released

Milwaukee Public Museum
Posted at 10:13 AM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 18:14:33-04

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Public Museum on Monday released renderings of the building they are planning to build, to replace their current aging building in downtown Milwaukee.

The new facility will be located on 2.4 acres at Sixth and Vliet in the Haymarket neighborhood.

On Monday the museum also launched a $240 million capital campaign. They have decided to spend $110 million on the new building - which includes $45 million from Milwaukee County, $40 million from the state of Wisconsin, and $25 million from donors.

The public campaign, called "Wisconsin Wonders," aims to be a center for natural history not just for Milwaukee but for the entire state.

“This is a bold project that will have a transformative effect across the state and around the world,” Jay Williams, former museum president and campaign co-chair, said in a statement. “With enthusiastic commitment of corporations, foundations and private citizens, and with the significant public investments made by the State of Wisconsin and Milwaukee County, we can create a multi-generational impact.”

Key donors noted by the museum are:

  • Anonymous donors,
  • JoAnn & Richard Beightol,
  • Lynn & Douglas Brengel,
  • Bucyrus Foundation,
  • Melitta S. & Joan M. Pick Charitable Trust

The new building will be five stories tall with about 200,000 square feet of space. The museum says the outside texture will be reminiscent of the ancient sea stacks at Mill Bluff State Park in Camp Douglass.

The people who designed the building ventured on a seven-day tour across Wisconsin, with the goal of coming up with ideas for designs.

“Thanks to the creativity and hard work of our team at Ennead and Kahler Slater, the new museum building will be an iconic, one-of-a-kind monument to Wisconsin and its people,” said Katie Sanders, MPM Chief Planning Officer. “Different from most creative processes, this design was developed as a result of input from thousands of people from both far corners of Wisconsin and right here in the Haymarket neighborhood, paired with inspiration drawn from a tour of the entire state.”

The first floor will feature an open commons atrium inspired by the coming together of the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic and Menomonee rivers.

The four floors above the ground floor will be dedicated to the exhibition space. Outside the museum, there will be two gardens, one at the entrance and one on the roof.

In addition to the new building, the museum will have a 50,000-square-foot storage facility for additional collections not on display.

Earlier this year crews began wrecking the buildings at the site of the new museum.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for late 2023. Residents will be able to go inside in 2026, the museum says.

The museum's current building is at 800 W. Wells St.

The Milwaukee Public Museum, Ennead Architects and Kahler Slater released the following renderings:

Milwaukee Public Museum
Renderings of the planned Milwaukee Public Museum building.
Milwaukee Public Museum
Renderings of the planned Milwaukee Public Museum building.
Milwaukee Public Museum
Renderings of the planned Milwaukee Public Museum building.
Milwaukee Public Museum
Renderings of the planned Milwaukee Public Museum building.
Milwaukee Public Museum
Renderings of the planned Milwaukee Public Museum building.

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