Site Demolition Continues At Future Museum Site
Buildings getting razed near 6th and McKinley for new Milwaukee Public Museum.
Demolition began Monday on the second of three buildings being cleared to make way for the new museum replacing the Milwaukee Public Museum.
The building, 1310 N. 6th St., sits at the southwestern corner of the 2.4-acre site where the new museum will be built. MPM Inc., the non-profit that operates the public museum, plans to construct a $240 million five-story building on the northeast corner of N. 6th St. and W. Mckinley Ave.
“Having finalized the architectural design for the Future Museum and shared sketches of interior views, our team is excited to see additional steps be taken in preparation for our Future Museum’s construction,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, MPM president and CEO.
An affiliate of MPM Inc. set up to oversee development has acquired three separate properties that will make up the development site.
The building being demolished Monday was most recently home to Milwaukee Auto Spa, a car detailing service, and Gustave A. Larson an HVAC equipment distributor. The museum affiliate, Historic Haymarket Milwaukee LLC, purchased the property in 2021 for $2.5 million from an LLC owned by Daniel Druml, founder and CEO of Druml Group. The property was last purchased by Druml in 2013 for $500,000. The building was constructed in 1966 and has changed hands three times prior to being purchased by the museum for demolition.
Katie Sanders, MPM vice president of planning, said the demolition site Monday would eventually become the site of the southwestern entrances to the museum and the new planetarium.
The third and final building to be demolished, 520 W. McKinley Ave., was formerly owned by Jennifer Bartolotta, who also sold the property to the museum affiliate in 2021 for $2.5 million. The first building knocked down, 1340 N. 6th St., was sold for $3.08 million to an entity controlled by James T. Barry III.
Sanders said Monday that the new museum is expected to be constructed and open to the public by late 2026 or early 2027.
Museum officials have been working for years to secure a new building for the museum. The current public museum building at 800 W. Wells St. was built in the 1960s and is in such a state of disrepair that it has, at times, put the museum collections stored there in jeopardy.
The new museum is being designed with some brand-new exhibits and others that incorporate popular exhibits from the old museum. MPM has been unveiling a handful of new exhibits in recent months. The latest is an immersive gallery called “Milwaukee Revealed” that will serve as the successor to the “Streets of Old Milwaukee.” The next new exhibit unveiling is scheduled for May 9.