A New Place to Gather and Learn
In carrying the legacy forward of one of the region's most esteemed scientific and cultural institutions, the Milwaukee Public Museum will yet again set the standard for 21st century natural history museums when it opens its new home in late 2026 or early 2027.
Learn more about the project's most frequently asked questions.
Architecture and Amenities
Inspired by the unique rock formations at Mill Bluff State Park in central Wisconsin as well as the confluence of Milwaukee's three rivers, the architectural design of the Future Museum will stoke curiosity and wonder and serve as a gathering place for learners of all ages and backgrounds to come together.
The five-story building will feature four floors of exhibits, a rooftop terrace and enclosed butterfly garden, a planetarium, gift shop, café and green space, and attached parking garage.
Exhibit Galleries and Visitor Experiences
The Museum's five permanent galleries will feature several exhibits that explore the interconnectedness of nature and culture under their broader gallery theme. The exhibits will build upon and reimagine the iconic moments and visitor experiences at the current Museum, showcasing many of the 4 million priceless objects and specimens.
Adjacent to some of the galleries will be spaces where visitors can further engage with Museum objects, staff, and special programming.
A gallery that will immerse visitors in city streetscapes they can explore to learn about the history of Milwaukee, the people who came to settle and live here, and its interconnected systems, neighborhoods, and ecologies (and where future generations of children can shop for a sweet treat).
A gallery focused on the geological wonders and strong and varied cultures of Wisconsin — from the Driftless Area to the Northwoods, the Apostle Islands, the Great Lakes, and Wisconsin's vast prairielands.
A gallery that takes visitors on an unconventional journey to five distinct ecosystems across the globe, where they will be immersed in the landscapes and cultures that occupy them.
Two spaces, including the Burke Foundation Culture Connector, dedicated to turning the Museum “inside out” with behind-the-scenes views into collections areas, flexible displays, public interaction, and special events and programs.
A gallery dedicated to exploring the deep past, including when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, through three of the planet’s geological chapters: the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras.
A gallery that transports visitors to the tropics to learn about the biodiversity that flourishes in tropical rainforests and the life rainforest climates support.
An exhibit that welcomes visitors into a warm, lush greenhouse thriving with real tropical plants and live butterflies flying freely throughout the space.
A gathering space that reconnects visitors to the outdoors and natural world.
Project Funding -
The Wisconsin Wonders campaign is rallying the community behind the largest cultural project in our state's history. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new, world-class destination for people and families across the state.