MPM to join Deer District area in downtown Milwaukee

A rendering of what a possible future Silurian Reef exhibit could look like at the site of the new Milwaukee Public Museum.


MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Public Museum on Friday announced the site of its future home: the northeast corner of Sixth and McKinley streets in downtown Milwaukee. The 2.4-acre site is adjacent to the Deer District and will provide abundant access to visitors from near and far via freeway and bus routes.

“We are thrilled to announce that we have selected the future home of the Milwaukee Public Museum in a place we know to be ideal for our community and our mission,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, president & CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum. “For 140 years and through four homes, MPM has been part of this neighborhood. By locating our new home in the historic Haymarket District on McKinley Street, MPM will remain in a part of the city that is close to neighborhoods and is accessible for all, and will continue to have an integral presence in the minds and hearts of our community for generations to come.”

After reviewing hundreds of sites, this site was selected following a lengthy process to determine a location best suited to preserve the future of the Milwaukee Public Museum, a nearly 140-year old institution beloved in the Wisconsin community and critically important in the scientific community.

The location, currently three parcels that would be combined into one, will accommodate MPM’s 230,000-square-foot facility inclusive of 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. As recently announced, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum will co-locate with MPM as a tenant in the new, state-of-the-art building to be created on the site and will occupy approximately 30,000 square feet of the facility.

“This is an ideal location for both Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and the Milwaukee Public Museum,” said Brian King, executive director of the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. “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.”

Choosing the site is the most recent milestone in a long-term plan for creating a new home for the Milwaukee Public Museum. In the coming months, an architect will be engaged. The museum will incorporate sustainable design practices, including LEED and WELL concepts. After working with an architect, final cost estimates will be determined.

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