The Harley-Davidson Museum of Milwaukee
Having opened to the public on July 12, 2008, on a 20-acre site in the Menomonee Valley, the Harley-Davidson Museum has become a huge success. It was built in an historically industrial area of Milwaukee, as the site was formerly used by the Milwaukee Department of Public Works, Lakeshore Sand Company, and Morton Salt. A 1.2 meter layer of imported soil was added to combat the contaminated soil. New vegetation was planted to restore the landscape to its riparian state.
In late February 2006, designs for the museum were unveiled, having been created by James Biber, a partner at Pentagram, his team, and Michael Zweck-Bonner, an associate at Pentagram. Abbott Miller, a partner at Pentagram, designed the museum's permanent exhibitions, and the firm had designed the museum over a period of eight years. On June 1, 2006, Harley-Davidson began the construction of the $75 million complex with a groundbreaking ceremony that included legendary Harley-Davidson dirt track motorcycle racer, Scott Parker, breaking ground by doing a burnout with a Harley-Davidson XL883R Sportster, instead of with the traditional golden shovel. The site includes parking spaces for 1,000 motorcycles and 500 cars. The Museum's facade also features a 17-foot (5.2 m) tall, steel Harley-Davidson sign.
Today, there are more than 450 motorcycles and artifacts at the museum, dating back to Serial Number One, the oldest-known Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Stories of extraordinary products, people, history, and Harley-Davidson culture, can be explored here. The world-class museum space and outlying buildings, situated on the Milwaukee riverfront, also has great views of the city skyline. You can also have your own piece of memorabilia, as the Harley-Davidson Museum gift shop sells plenty of H-D inspired items. There's also the Harley-Davidson -themed eatery - MOTOR . Museum admission isn't required to eat there, so if you're just looking for somewhere interesting to hang out and have a good lunch, why not give it a try.
The museum itself is packed with great Harley-Davidson motors, memorabilia, and historical archives, including the unique 'Experience Gallery'. For some of you, this is the moment you've been waiting for, as you can climb on board one of the many motorcycles that inhabit the gallery. Chosen for their diverse scale, the bikes in this gallery are here for you to sit on, touch, and admire. And while sitting in the saddle of one of these legendary rides, enjoy a video that allows you to experience the great roads of America and the camaraderie of riding that is at the heart of the Harley-Davidson experience. While you’re there, take a seat on one of the new Harley-Davidson motorcycles and get a photo!
At the time of this writing, the entrance cost is just $20 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $10 for children (free for under five), which gives great value for the money and a memorable day out for anyone including families, not just those who have a particular interest in Harley-Davidson or motor history.