By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 24, 2006 at 12:04 PM

Harley-Davidson unveiled architectural renderings Friday of the Menomonee Valley motorcycle museum expected to open in 2008.

The 130,000-sq. ft. building, situated on a 20-acre plot of land located where the 6th Street viaduct dips to the valley floor at Canal Street, will house the museum, a restaurant and café, a retail shop, meeting space, Harley's archives and special event facilities.

The complex was designed by Pentagram of New York and Milwaukee's Hammel, Green and Abrahamson is the local architect of record. Also involved are Oslund and Associates, a Minneapolis landscape architecture firm; construction management team M.A. Mortenson Co. of Milwaukee; and SIGMA, Milwaukee, an environmental consultant.

Museum director Stacey Watson said, "The design plan for the Harley-Davidson Museum and its site incorporates striking urban design elements and engages the surrounding water and green spaces. It also unites the city center with the Menomonee Valley and reflects the industrial heritage of the area and of Harley-Davidson."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the development will add to Milwaukee's international reputation and praised the project's environmentally conscious design.

"The Harley-Davidson Museum will add yet another world-class attraction to Milwaukee and showcase our city's proud history with an industry icon known worldwide," he said. "I am particularly proud of Harley-Davidson's use of green design elements to redevelop this site into a landmark that will further cement Milwaukee as a destination for visitors and Harley-Davidson enthusiasts from our region and beyond."

Harley plans to break ground on the project by summer and hopes the museum will attract 350,000 annual visitors. The museum, when completed, is expected to create about 70 full-time jobs.