MSO fundraising tops $115 million for $139 million Warner Grand Theatre campaign

Work progressing on schedule for fall 2020 opening

The MSO will open in the Grand Theatre building in 2020.

Last updated on October 25th, 2019 at 05:12 pm

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has raised more than $115 million toward its $139 million campaign goal for the Warner Grand Theatre’s restoration.

The campaign received a boost this week when the Rotary Club of Milwaukee gifted the MSO with a $50,000 grant.

Work on the Warner Grand Theater at 212 W. Wisconsin Avenue. continues to progress on schedule, with the MSO aiming to complete the project by September 2020, said spokeswoman Erin Kogler.

The project, which will transform the Warner Grand into the “Milwaukee Symphony Center,” involves renovating the 87-year-old theater, lobby and concourses, along with the building’s 12-story office tower.

Initially, the MSO set a $120 million fundraising target, but later increased its goal to $139 million in mid-2018 to accommodate the tower renovation. The overall goal includes costs for the building redevelopment project, as well as building up the organization’s endowment.

The Rotary Club’s grant will support the restoration and naming of two built-in wall fountains in the theater.

“Rotary Club of Milwaukee is delighted to support MSO’s Grand Theater project,” said Ed Krishok, board president. “The project provides a beautiful home and community platform for the symphony, affirms Milwaukee’s commitment to the arts, and brings a grand old building back to life revitalizing downtown.”

While the MSO plans to host its first concert weekend at the Milwaukee Symphony Center in September 2020, Kogler said the organization “would love to make the building available for (Democratic National Convention) activities” if it has occupancy of the building in time for the July 13-16 convention.

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