Wisconsin State Building Commission Unanimously Approves Construction Request
MADISON, Wis., Oct. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Wisconsin History Center project reached another significant milestone today when the State Building Commission unanimously approved the Society’s request for authorization to construct the new facility. The approval effectively moves the project into the demolition and construction phase. Demolition is slated to begin in early 2024, while construction is expected to kick off in late 2024 and take just over two years to complete. The Madison Urban Design Commission granted final approval on the Wisconsin History Center architectural design in September 2023.
“This is an exciting moment that is decades in the making, and we appreciate the long-standing bipartisan support for this transformative project,” said Christian Overland, Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “The Wisconsin History Center will be a vibrant addition to the state’s civic infrastructure for school students, educators, families, and history enthusiasts. It will also drive tourism dollars to the state by providing access to one of the most significant historical collections in the nation.”
The new 100,000-square-foot, five-story history center will utilize the site of the former Wisconsin Historical Museum as well as two adjacent properties at 20-22 North Carroll Street on Madison’s Capitol Square. The facility is expected to welcome more than 200,000 guests annually and double the number of school students served to 60,000. The center will house three permanent galleries, a rotating community gallery sharing local history from across the state, and a changing gallery large enough to bring in the nation’s most sought-after traveling exhibits. The Society will offer robust public programming throughout the communal spaces, while extending the center’s resources across the state through advanced technology.
“I am also glad to see the approval of funding for the construction of a new facility for the Wisconsin History Center on Capitol Square, which will help ensure this important Wisconsin institution remains a hub of statewide history, education, and outreach for future generations,” said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who serves as Chair of the State Building Commission.
The Society has partnered with an industry-leading architectural and exhibition design team that includes Ralph Appelbaum Associates as well as Continuum Architects + Planners and SmithGroup. Extensive collaborations with community partners, a 12-member scholarly advisory panel, the Institute for Human Centered Design and a formal Native Nations Council are also informing the final experience design.
The design and construction budget for the project will be supported by $112.3 million in State funds and $48.2 million in private gifts.
“The Wisconsin History Center is set to be a beacon for history in the Midwest, a game-changer for our kids and teachers, and a premier tourist destination,” said Rep. Rob Swearingen, Vice Chair of the State Building Commission. “I’m happy to support this long overdue project and excited for what’s to come!”
For more information on the new history center project, visit wisconsinhistory.org/historycenter.
Click here for images of the Wisconsin History Center: https://whs.photoshelter.com/galleries/C0000myp9MBnjA44/G0000gGfF4Z7SdYQ/I0000_8WcQU27Uq4/2-Wisconsin-Historical-Society-History-Center-Lobby-jpg
About Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. The Wisconsin Historical Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, receives grants and private contributions benefitting the Wisconsin Historical Society and administers the membership program. For more information, visit http://www.wisconsinhistory.org.
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SOURCE Wisconsin Historical Society