By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 06, 2020 at 3:26 PM

The Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear, 839 N. 11th St., announced in an email Sunday that the Downtown museum has closed and its collection is moving to the Cedarburg History Museum. The coronavirus pandemic was a factor.

The museum was created in 2012 from the collection of Avrum Chudnow and was located in his former office near the Marquette campus.

We took a tour of the museum when it opened and you can read that article here.

The old former home occupied by the museum and another of a similar vintage that it owns nearby are being sold.

Curator Joel Willems will continue to work with the collection, which will have some of its own galleries within the Cedarbug museum. Executive Director Steve Daly is retiring.

Williams hopes to have some of the galleries ready in Cedarburg by the end of the month.

Here is the statement that was emailed out on Sunday by Daly.

A new chapter is beginning for the collections of the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear! After more than 8 years of delivering award winning experiences in downtown Milwaukee, the Chudnow collections are headed to Cedarburg. As sad as the Chudnow family and staff of the museum are that the Chudnow Museum is closing down its Milwaukee operations, we are excited that the collection will remain intact and live on for people to enjoy.

Discussions between the board of the Cedarburg History Museum and the Chudnow Museum have resulted in an agreement to ship the majority of artifacts that have delighted so many visitors over the years to a new venue.

We are asking for your financial support to help us to continue our mission of education and senior programming in our new location, as well as to fund our immediate need to quickly catalog, pack, and ship the large amount of items. Any amount contributed will go directly to the purchase of boxes, padding, and then movers to ship the collection to its new home for eventual display there. Please show your support by helping us with this large undertaking.

Joel and I would personally like to thank all of you who have supported us over the past 8 years. Both of us have truly enjoyed presenting the history and the artifacts through stories we have shared. We could not have been as successful as we were without your help and good wishes!

Online donations are being accepted here.


Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.