Thursday, May 16, 2019

Greatly expanded Wisconsin Historical Society Museum planned for Capitol Square mixed-use development

View of the site from 3rd floor of Madison Central Library

Photos by Retiring Guy

The back of the historical society museum is at left.  The 9-story Churchill Building, completed in 1915, is at right and is included within the redevelopment site.

Wisconsin Historical Society museum seeks to 'wow'.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 5/13/2019)
After two decades of planning, the vision for a new $120 million, 100,000-square-foot Wisconsin Historical Society museum Downtown is taking shape, fueled by an unprecedented outreach effort to communities across the state, American Indian tribes and generations of Wisconsinites. 
The state, the Historical Society, developer Hovde Properties and landowner Fred Mohs have long seen part of the block that fronts Capitol Square and holds the current, undersized museum and surrounding properties for a joint redevelopment that could be the largest project in city history with total costs approaching $255 million.

A longer view from the top of the Overture parking ramp.

'The Museum They Deserve': Capital Budget Includes Funds For Historical Museum Rebuild.  (Wisconsin Public Radio, 3/15/2019)
The museum currently has about 17,000 square feet of exhibition space, according to Overland. The new 100,000-square-foot museum will have about 40,000 square feet of permanent exhibition space, along with 3,500 square feet for temporary installations, as well as classrooms. They intend to keep their current location and expand into the adjacent plot.

The Churchill's darkest hour.  (Isthmus, 3/21/2019)
The Gay building, later renamed the Churchill building, sits on the Capitol Square near the head of State Street. At nine stories tall, it stirred a mixture of civic pride and horror that may sound familiar. Some saw it as a sign of vitality while others worried that it and other skyscrapers that might follow would obscure the view of the grand new Capitol building still under construction right across the street.

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