Milwaukee Public Museum’s new building secures $45 million in county funding

Milwaukee Public Museum
The Milwaukee Public Museum.

Last updated on March 16th, 2022 at 02:21 pm

The Milwaukee Public Museum’s planned new downtown building will receive $45 million in Milwaukee County funding.

The County Board approved the bonded funding Tuesday morning, a week after the proposal won the endorsements of the Finance and Parks, Energy and Environment committees.

The $240 million project has now secured $45 million from the county and $40 million in state funding, paving the way for the museum to go public with its planned $150 million fundraising campaign.

“We are grateful for support from Milwaukee County, in the form of $45 million in bonded funding, which will help ensure that its collections will be preserved long into the future and that this institution can continue to educate, influence and delight our community for generations to come,” said Ellen Censky, president and chief executive officer of MPM.

The new museum is planned as a 230,000-square-foot development on a 2.4-acre site at the northeast corner of North Sixth Street and McKinley Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. The costs for the development and construction of the new facility are projected at $170 million, with the remaining $70 million covering the cost of purchasing the site, transitioning to the new building and moving collections, building out a 33,000-square-foot space for Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and growing MPM’s endowment.

Current timelines have construction beginning in 2023 for final completion in 2026.

The county has not yet announced plans for the current museum building, at 800 W. Wells St., when MPM moves to its new home.

“For nearly 60 years, Milwaukee Public Museum and Milwaukee County have partnered to preserve and make accessible the more than four million priceless objects and specimens owned by the county and entrusted to the care of MPM, Inc. — a partnership strengthened by today’s commitment,” Censky said Tuesday.

The architectural and design team behind the new museum building have been developing conceptual design plans since last fall. Architectural and exhibit renderings are expected to be released this spring.

“The next evolution of the museum will build on our history of presenting ideas and information to our visitors in innovative ways by doing so in a new, world-class building,” Censky added.

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