Sure, when people think of Milwaukee, they often think of Miller Beer or Usingers Sausage, and maybe even Brewers Baseball, but many also think of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, another Milwaukee icon.
Just in time for Harley’s 105 Anniversary Celebration, the Harley-Davidson Museum nears completion.
For a few years, I heard buzz about the prospect of creating a Harley Museum in Milwaukee and was beginning to get curious as to when this alleged museum would open. Well folks, it’s official. The Harley-Davidson Museum will open to the public on Saturday, July 12, 2008. And really, that’s not very far away!
Grand opening festivities will kick off with one big Harley-style ceremony at 10 a.m. and the party will continue throughout the weekend with rockin’ live music, a custom bike build and on-site tattoo trailers, you know, if you want to get fresh ink to show off during the anniversary. No?
After work last night I finally saw the 20-acre site. Having been interested for awhile, I decided to take a few minutes to explore the location. Boy, does it look cool!
Located in the Menomonee Valley at the intersection of 6th and Canal Streets, stands the massive, 13,000-square-foot Museum. According to local news sources, the site’s three buildings will feature a retail store, a restaurant, a café and a multitude of exhibits that’ll pay homage to the people, product, history and culture that has fashioned Harley-Davidson into the icon it is today.
Last night I noticed one of the coolest parts of this Museum, the bright orange cement along 5th Street that’s for motorcycle parking access. Do you think you’ll be able to see the orange strip from an airplane flying en route for Mitchell International?
Additionally, I think many people will seize the opportunity to stroll around the site, enjoy the river walk or just sit back and enjoy Milwaukee’s skyline because the site is open 24-hour a day. Such aspects will add a whole new dimension to the H-D experience.
The entire Museum boasts unique qualities that go beyond its architectural details. There will be fantastic motorcycle collections featuring unique bikes like “King Kong,” a 13-foot bike with two engines. In addition, stories and photographs spanning 105 years will capture the lives of people living the Harley lifestyle right here in Milwaukee and all around the world.
The Museum’s website says, stories will be told through a variety of media – including photographs, videos, apparel, never before seen artifacts and rare documents. Such extraordinary accounts include that of a young woman from the 1920s who road her Harley cross-country. This particular display will present candid photos from her experience and excerpts from the journal she wrote during her expedition.
You’ll also get to read personalized messages created by individuals worldwide on the Living the Legend wall and plaza. Each of these stories celebrate the spirit and the pride that is represented by the H-D brand and I can’t wait to learn more.
To be honest, I’ve never been dotty about motorcycles, but I’ve been around people who have been. Even though Eric just bought his first bike (Shhhhh, it’s not a Harley!), I still wouldn’t call myself an enthusiast, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sincerely excited for the opening of the Museum.
What’s cool about the Harley-Davidson Museum is that visitors don’t have to be a leather-wearing biker or even a Harley owner to appreciate the Museum or to experience the sense of freedom, camaraderie and pride that Harley riders feel every time they fire up their Hogs.
That’s why, once I got home after checking out the near-finished structure, I immediately purchased my tickets for opening weekend. To buy your own ticket, simply click here and select the date and time you wish to tour the museum and you can print your ticket from home.
The Harley-Davidson Museum is sure to be an awesome experience! I’m looking forward to sharing many stories from my first visit to the Museum in July with all of you.
400 Canal Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Summer Hours (May through October) 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, Thursday and Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday
Admission $16 adults, $12 students, $10 children 5-17 years, free children under 5 years