ON-Lion Letter

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has announced plans to renovate downtown Milwaukee’s historic Warner Grand Theatre as its new home on Wisconsin Avenue. Built in 1930 as a movie palace, the theatre has stood empty since 1995. The Symphony’s efforts are viewed as the last opportunity to preserve the building.

Although its traditional home has been the Marcus Center, the Symphony has been struggling in recent years to schedule its season and special concerts there. Owning its own venue, and having flexibility for scheduling, is expected to substantially improve the MSO’s revenues, thereby protecting the future of this premiere cultural institution.

Perhaps just as important, the project will breathe new life into a neglected block of downtown Milwaukee, adding additional vigor to other private development projects in the neighborhood.

“We now look to renew this beautiful gem,” says Milwaukee Symphony Executive Director, Mark Niehaus, “to be the new home for the Milwaukee Symphony. This is the last spot in downtown that needs this spark.”

The Milwaukee Symphony is viewed by many to be one of the finest orchestras in the United States. It is led by world renowned conductor Edo de Waart, who is in his sixth and final season in Milwaukee.

The $120 million capital project will include $20 million in endowment and $6.8 million to pay off pension obligations.  The Milwaukee Symphony is a grantee of the Bradley Foundation.


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