Public Museum Announces New Location Near Fiserv Forum
Museum aims to buy three parcels at northeast corner of N. 6th St. and W. McKinley Ave.
The Milwaukee Public Museum announced a location for its planned new 230,000-square-foot facility. It is targeting three privately-owned parcels at the northeast corner of N. 6th Street and W. McKinley Avenue currently occupied by one-story warehouse buildings.
The non-profit natural history museum announced two weeks ago it would partner with the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum (BBCM) in developing a shared new facility, but neither party would identify the selected site.
The partners have secured three parcels just off Interstate 43 and north of Fiserv Forum that, when merged, will form a 2.4-acre rectangular site.
MPM, currently located at 800 W. Wells St., has been publicly pursuing a new facility for over five years.
The new building will contain exhibit space, visitor services, a cafe 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.
The Public Museum will occupy the majority of the new building, with BBCM getting its first purpose-built home. “We have been shoehorned in what was a county parks pavilion for 25 years,” said BBCM Executive Director Brian King. BBCM is currently located in the Miller Pavilion at O’Donnell Park, 929 E. Wisconsin Ave.
BBCM will occupy 30,000 square feet in the new facility.
In early September Censky told Urban Milwaukee no architect had been hired to draft plans. “We are doing due diligence on a site,” said Censky at the time.
A final cost estimate for the facility is also unavailable.
The sites are currently addressed as 1310-1312 N. 6th St., 1340 N. 6th St. and 520 W. McKinley Ave. The Bartolotta Restaurants has its office operations in the W. McKinley Ave. property. Bucketworks co-working space occupied the building at 1340 N. 6th St., and served as Urban Milwaukee’s first office space, however, the operation closed following a 2009 flood. According to signage at the site, a handful of tenants share warehouse space in the one-story warehouse at 1310 N. 6th St.
The properties have a combined assessed value of $3,085,600.
The city will need to approve an alley vacation to create the development site.
The site is immediately north of the newly-constructed Fiserv Forum parking garage and attached Five Fifty Ultra Lofts apartments. An on-ramp to Interstate 43 is directly west of the facility and multiple Milwaukee County Transit System routes serve the area.
In 2018 MPM released conceptual plans for a $150 million, stand-alone facility on a generic site.
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Read more about New Natural History Museum here