By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 11, 2020 at 12:31 PM Photography: Bobby Tanzilo

After years of speculation, the Milwaukee Public Museum announced that it will locate its new museum on a 2.4-acre site of at the northeast corner of 6th and McKinley Streets, a block north of Fiserv Forum.

The site is currently occupied by buildings, including the offices of Bartolotta Restaurant Group.

"We are thrilled to announce that we have selected the future home of the Milwaukee Public Museum in a place we know to be ideal for our community and our mission,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, President & CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum, in Friday's announcement.

"For 140 years and through four homes, MPM has been part of this neighborhood. By locating our new home in the historic Haymarket District on McKinley Street, MPM will remain in a part of the City that is close to neighborhoods and is accessible for all, and will continue to have an integral presence in the minds and hearts of our community for generations to come.”

One of the three parcels is owned by Jennifer Bartolotta of the Bartolotta restaurant group. Another is owned by the Barry Company. The third is owned by Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling.

The 230,000-square-foot building will have exhibit space, visitor services, a shop, a cafe, underground parking, collections research areas and storage space, an auditorium, and events space, offices, an exhibit maintenance workshop and back-of-house areas.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum will occupy about 30,000 square feet of the building thanks to an alliance recently created by the two institutions.

The current 400,000-square-foot museum building, at 800 W. Wells St., has 150,000 square feet of exhibit space.

"This is an ideal location for both Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and the Milwaukee Public Museum,” said Brian King, Executive Director of the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, in the statement today.

"We could not be more excited to move forward with designing and constructing a new space for Betty Brinn Children’s Museum – one that is designed from the outset to be a children’s museum and enables us to inspire kids to the very best of our abilities."

Earlier this week, the Bucks announced that a new hotel would be built on some of the vacant land nearby in the Park East corridor.

According to the Milwaukee Public Museum, due diligence is currently under way on the site, exhibit planning is ongoing and funds are being secured to buy the three parcels.

"The Milwaukee Public Museum is an important piece of Milwaukee County as it serves the most diverse clientele of any cultural institution in the county or the state," said County Executive David Crowley.

"It is still early in this process, but I’m excited to work with the Milwaukee Public Museum on their plans to best serve our residents and make a new museum building a reality.”

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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.