The Harley-Davidson Museum broke ground on Thursday for its new 8,200-square-foot events venue called The Garage.
The space will occupy a one-story building to be constructed on the site of the old tented Chrome seasonal events space on the south end of the museum’s 20-acre site at 400 W. Canal St. in the Menomonee Valley.
It is expected to be completed and ready for events by next spring.
The Garage will be managed by 1903 Events, which expects to book corporate events, weddings and other gatherings.
The building will include floor-to-ceiling windows and state of the art audio/visual systems, a quintet of garage doors that connect to The Square outdoor area and access to docks on the Menomonee River canal, among other features.
The Garage is likely to replace a current events space with the same name on the north side of the complex as the museum’s largest rental area. Plans for that area have not yet been announced.
The new Garage will augment the museum’s existing event spaces, including MOTOR Bar & Restaurants, Rumble, the 1903 Bridge & Patio 13 and the smaller Bolt.
The new building was designed by Morton Buildings, which will also handle the construction. Milwaukee’s HGA Architects is consulting.
VISIT Milwaukee President & CEO Peggy Williams-Smith and Harley-Davidson Museum VP Bill Davidson were on hand at the groundbreaking, which also featured a roaring visit from a stunt rider on a new Harley motorcycle.
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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.