When demolition of one of three existing buildings begins on Tuesday morning, work on the site of the future Milwaukee Public Museum will have officially begun.
The first building to come down is located at 1340 N. 6th St., on the north side of the site at 6th and Vliet Streets. That 32,000-square-foot structure is a long, low – and vacant – commercial structure built in 1969.
Two other structures facing McKinley Avenue will be demolished later.
The 2.4-acre site of the museum – which was announced in 2020 – has been created by combining a number of previously separate parcels of land. It is across the street from the Deer District.
“Seeing work begin on site here in Milwaukee’s Haymarket neighborhood is very exciting. We’ve achieved some major milestones recently, including securing funding support from both the State and Milwaukee County, and it’s great to see the physical progress on the site as well,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, President and CEO of MPM, on Friday.
“Looking at MPM’s future, we are thrilled. This site was chosen to ensure the future museum is accessible for Milwaukee residents and visitors from across Wisconsin and around the world. This location is the perfect size for our new Museum, which is being designed to enable our visitors to explore big concepts and learn about important stories in dynamic ways.”
The new museum – being designed by Ennead Architects and Kahler Slater – and constructed by Mortenson and ALLCON – is expected to open in 2026.
Groundbreaking is expected to take place next year.
The cost of the demolition comes from the state's Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation through the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee.
Here is a question and answer we did with Censky about the new museum project last year.
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.