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Major renovation project begins for new home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in downtown Milwaukee

NOW: Major renovation project begins for new home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in downtown Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Construction crews are in the process of completing a major component of a renovation project downtown Milwaukee that will give the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra its own home for the first time ever.

The construction project started on Tuesday at the former Warner Grand Theater at 2nd and Wisconsin in downtown Milwaukee, where crews are moving a 1-million-pound wall 35 feet over to make room for the new symphony hall.

The reason they can’t just tear it down is because they are receiving millions in federal and state historical tax credits for the project, so they are required to keep the existing facade.

The project that is more than three years in the making is also being funded from private donors and the city of Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is currently using the Marcus Center for Performing Arts and other venues for their performances.

Symphony officials say having their own home will be beneficial for the future of the symphony.

“It is so important for the future of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and we are very excited about the opportunity to be able to present our performances throughout the city and also to be a home to welcome other groups into our home and be a part of this wonderful community of West Wisconsin avenue,” Susan Lorias of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra said.

The project manager says working on this project has been a very unique experience.

 “From an experience perspective, from my end, it’s awesome,” CD Smith Construction project executive Cory Henschel said, “We’ve been working on this for almost four years now, so for the next two hours leading up to this moment so yeah it’s very exciting. It’s neat.”

Crews hope to have the wall moved by the end of the day Tuesday if all goes as planned.


The new Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra hall is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020.

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