Museum apartment plans up for discussion next week

By Matt Masterson - Freeman Staff

April 2, 2016

A rendering of the proposed apartment project at the Waukesha County Museum
Submitted photo

WAUKESHA - A project that would convert a portion of the Waukesha County Museum into high-end apartments is set for further review next week.

On Wednesday, the city’s Landmarks Commission will hear and comment on proposed revisions to the museum apartments project at the old Waukesha County Courthouse building.

As part of the project proposal, the Waukesha County Museum would sell the property at 101 W. Main St. to developer Alan Huelsman’s development company, Historic Prairieview Limited.

The museum would need to consolidate into the first two floors of the original Waukesha County Courthouse, and the third floor will be renovated into a banquet and wedding facility featuring a fully restored 1893 courtroom.

The project came about early last year as a means of saving the museum after Waukesha County cut its annual funding for the organization.

A connector building on the site was initially slated to come down to allow for more parking space below the museum. Instead, the project architect and developer worked to create parking spaces around the building’s current structure and preserve that building.

However, a piece of the building which previously served as a jail — but not the original 1885 jail, which will be turned into apartments — will be razed and replaced by new construction.

One floor of the project has also been eliminated in the new proposal, making it a four-level building. The total number of units has also been reduced from 41 to 32.

That meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening in Room 207 of Waukesha City Hall, 201 Delafield St.

Also next week, the Common Council will meet to discuss items including a public tree planting program and the creation of an ordinance that would regulate block parties in the city.

The council normally meets on Tuesday evenings, but due to the primary election, it will instead meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the council chambers.