Historical corner revamp could come at historic price

The outdated and undersized Wisconsin Historical Museum may be on the verge of doubling its space in a significant redevelopment along the Capitol Square that could end up being the city’s priciest — about $240 million.

A story in the Wisconsin State Journal outlined a plan, 20 years in the making, to redevelop a portion of the block bordered by North Carroll, West Mifflin, and North Fairchild Streets.

The Wisconsin Historical Society, the State of Wisconsin, Hovde Properties, and landowner Fred Mohs are joined in their vision to redevelop the popular corner, which could also double the size of the museum.

Former Govs. Tommy Thompson and Jim Doyle will co-chair the Historical Society’s $120 million fundraising effort to raise $50 million in private funds over eight months. If successful, the state will provide an additional $70 million. A separate, $120 million private development from Hovde-Mohs would be built above the new museum, adding another 200,000 to 250,000 square feet of commercial and residential space to the corner.