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The Milwaukee Public Museum announced today the site in downtown Milwaukee that it has chosen as the location for its future facility.
MPM says that site will accommodate its planned 230,000-square-foot museum, which will include 30,000 square feet for the future home of Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. The natural history museum and children’s museum announced earlier this month their plans to co-locate in the future building.
The new museum will include MPM exhibit space, visitor services, a café and retail store, underground parking, collections research and storage, classrooms, an auditorium, event venue space, offices, a small workshop for exhibit maintenance and back-of-house spaces.
“This is an ideal location for both Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and the Milwaukee Public Museum,” said Brian King, executive director of BBCM. “We could not be more excited to move forward with designing and constructing a new space for Betty Brinn Children’s Museum – one that is designed from the outset to be a children’s museum and enables us to inspire kids to the very best of our abilities.”
MPM plans to engage an architect for the project in the coming months and then determine final cost estimates.The Sixth/McKinley site was chosen after a review of hundreds of options, the museum said in its announcement Friday. Barry, who was involved in finding and selecting the appropriate site for the museum, said the buildings located on the three sites will come down after they are acquired by the museum. He said he thought of the parcels at Sixth and McKinley as a potential location for MPM because he had an "intimate understanding" of the site. Barry said he worked with the city in finding a potential site for Kohl's Corp., back when the Menomonee Falls-based retailer was considering a move to downtown Milwaukee. The three parcels were part of that candidate site for Kohl's. Barry said there are only so many downtown sites that are plausible for a project of this scope. "In order to find site for large new construction in downtown Milwaukee, you need to be creative," he said. "I think this reflects the creativity that went into the site search." Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Bucks announced plans for a 230-room luxury boutique hotel to be built just north of Fiserv Forum, the first of two hotels the Bucks hope to attract to the team’s Deer District development area around the arena. BizTimes reporter Alex Zank contributed to the reporting of this story.