Community Birthday for Les Paul and the Waukesha County Museum! Tuesday, June 9th 6:30 to 9:00 PM  

Help celebrate the life of the great Les Paul as well as the 100th anniversary of the Waukesha County Museum. Dance to the music of Kellie and the Soul Mates. Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres as you experience all the exhibits in the museum, including the Les Paul Exhibit, before they are redesigned and moved to their new location.  A cash bar will be open during the event. Silent auction with Les Paul autographed items, Owen Gromme signed and numbered prints, Fireside Theater package, handcrafted rocking horse, artist designed glass bowl, and more.

Tickets can be purchased here through Eventbrite. *Ticket price includes a tax deductable donation to the museum.

Effective May 7, 2015 The Waukesha County Museum has temporarily suspended its normal business operations.

We want to thank everyone who has supported us over our 100 years of operation and we look forward to your continued support as the museum builds towards a better and brighter future. The museum will use this hiatus to evaluate itself and plan for a new museum that will be better equipped to both preserve and share the rich history of Waukesha County. We eagerly look forward to the time when we will once again be able to serve the people of Waukesha County and visitors to the area. Staff will be working diligently in the building planning for the proposed construction, assuring the vast collection of artifacts is preserved and developing new and improved exhibits that tell the story of Waukesha County in a new and interesting way. If you have any questions, concerns or are simply curious about the project please feel free to give us a call at 262-521-2859 we would be happy to speak with you. The Research Center will continue to operate on appointment only basis. Contact Andrew Swanson, Curator at 262-521-2859 ext.225 for questions and appointments. We look forward to seeing you at our Community Birthday Party for Les Paul on Tuesday June 9th.

 2015 Treasures of Waukesha County Essay and Image Contest Winners

After some delay we have determined the winners of this year’s essay contest. The student’s essays will be posted in the Education Department section of our website next week.

2nd and 3rd Grades

1st Place    Kellen Klein, 3rd Grade Pewaukee Lake Elementary – “Lapham Peak”

2nd Pace    Ava Babler, 3rd Grade Pewaukee Lake Elementary – “Les Paul”

3rd Place   Sarah Furness, 3rd Grade Pewaukee Lake Elementary – “Saint Peter and Paul Congregation”

4th and 5th Grades

1st Place   Sean Kendellen, 5th Grade Waukesha S.T.E.M Academy – “Waukesha County Museum”

2nd Pace   Grace Munson, 4th Grade Big Bend Elementary – “Putnam Inn”

3rd Place   Eva Koos, 4th Grade Big Bend Elementary – “Jesse Smith Tavern”

6th – 8th Grades

1st Place   Jamie Schenk, 6th Grade Big Bend Elementary – “Paradise Springs Nature Trail”

2nd Pace   Allison Krueger, 6th Grade Clarendon Ave Elementary – “Old World Wisconsin”

3rd Place   Elyse Miramontes, 7th Grade Park View Middle School – “Elegant Farmer”

 9th- 12th Grades 

1st Place   Jacob Schraufnagel, 11th Grade Arrowhead Union High School – “Downtown Delafield”

2nd Pace  Tessa Bowe,  11th Grade Arrowhead  Union High School – “Ice Age Trail”

3rd Place  Jennifer Grey, 9th Grade Menomonee Falls High School  – “Lime Kilns Park”


Congratulations to all the winners!!!!

Waukesha Freeman 02/26/2015

 Apartment project proposed for museum

• Interim museum director: ‘We now have a future’ • Plan includes 42 luxury apartments, underground parking • Former jail & connector buildings would be demolished Huelsmans’ company to purchase historic building By Sarah Pryor Freeman Staff WAUKESHA — Big changes could be in store for the long-struggling Waukesha County Museum, and Interim Executive Director Tom Constable said it’s the first step in securing a future for Waukesha County’s history. Historic Prairieville Limited Partners plans to purchase the museum’s property at 101 W. Main St., raze two buildings on the site and build a 42unit luxury apartment complex in their place. If approved, the development will feature two floors of underground parking for residents and museum employees, Constable said. In the meantime, the museum will downsize and occupy the first and second floor of the historic former Waukesha County Courthouse building, leaving the third floor for a banquet and meeting space once the original 1893 courtroom is restored, said Alan Huelsman, a partner of Historic Prairieville Limited. Huelsman said the courtroom restoration should yield an event facility on par with the nearby Rotunda, another event venue owned by his family. Constable said renovating the courtroom is something museum staff has dreamed of doing for years. “Our perspective is we’re not only preserving the building through this action — the original courtroom will be restored and brought back to its original splendor,” Constable said. “This is a major gain for the community.” We’d like to save the museum’  Constable said growing the tax base by putting an apartment building on a site that currently houses two tax-free buildings — the 1885 original jail building and a 1930s-era connector building — will be a huge benefit for the city, and downtown businesses would benefit from more foot traffic from the new apartment dwellers. The museum building will likely be sold to Historic Prairieville for a nominal price and then the museum will enter into a 25-year lease agreement to stay in the building, paying something like $1 per year for rent, Constable said. “What’s most important is that we have an opportunity to save the museum and this is Phase 1 of that, which is to get out from under the heavy costs of an aging building,” Constable said. It costs up to $150,000 annually for museum maintenance costs — a significant chunk of the budget for an organization that recently lost all its funding from the county. Waukesha County had given the museum $300,000 annually for more than a decade until the 2014 budget, when it cut its support in half to $150,000. This year, the county budget defunded the museum entirely. With that cost out of the way, Constable can focus fundraising efforts on other, more important components of the organization, he said. “I have been worried about whether the museum will succeed, and this is the first step in giving us the assurance that will happen,” Constable said. “We now have a future.” Most exhibits, including the Les Paul exhibit, would need to be relocated and more efficiently stored for the museum’s pared-down 25,000-square-foot space, Constable said. However, he doesn’t think the Les Paul exhibit would need to be diminished. “Frankly, it’s been a pretty important piece for us,” Constable said. The next step is asking the appropriate city committees for all necessary building approvals, and Huelsman said no plans are set in stone yet. “We would hope it would have some historical elements — maybe carry over some of the peaked roofs and gables from the courthouse building into the new building. We don’t know yet. We’re still at the front end of this,” Huelsman said, adding that his wife Catherine was on the board of the museum for a while so it holds a special place in his family’s heart. “We’d like to save the museum,” he said. What if the plan doesn’t get the required approvals? “The worst-case scenario is that we close,” Constable said. “And if that happens, the Wisconsin State Historical Society has control over all the artifacts that we have. We fully expect this proposal to go through.” Email: spryor@conleynet.com

Copyright © 2015 Conley Group. All rights reserved 02/26/2015

September 10 & 11 Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience is a mobile exhibit that offers 1,000 square feet for visitors to explore sound, technology and music innovations through hands-on interactive technology. Visitors will be able to mix and share music as they discover Les Paul’s story. The mobile exhibit will be at the Les Paul Middle School—Central Campus 400 N. Grand Ave., Waukesha, Wisconsin on September 10 and 11th. There is no charge to visit the exhibit. This will be the only stop in Waukesha. www.les-paul.com.


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