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Early childhood specialists founded Madison Children’s Museum in 1980. Volunteers oversaw traveling exhibits and a temporary home at the Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, until the popular program found a home in a warehouse on West Washington Ave, followed by a move to 100 State Street in 1991.
Expansion began again in 2005 when MCM acquired a $5 million, five-story building through the generosity of W. Jerome Frautschi. Renovation joined innovation with a $10 million capital campaign highlighting recycled materials, local builders, and a rooftop garden. Through these efforts, MCM has become a national leader in museum practices.
Our Hamilton Street facility opened its doors in August 2010, serving a bigger audience in a learning playground emphasizing art, science, history, culture, health, and civic engagement.
Madison Children’s Museum Facts
- Each year we host around 200,000 visitors, 300 school groups, and more than 800 education programs.
- MCM has more than 65 employees and over 523 volunteers and interns, giving more than 16,400 hours annually.
- We have more than 4,300 family memberships.
- Our rooftop garden produces 1,400 eggs and 300 varieties of veggies and herbs each year.
- In 2014, MCM achieved LEED Gold Certification for an existing building. MCM is the first LEED-certified museum in Wisconsin. To learn more about our green initiatives, read our Green Guide.
- We use local materials, builders and craftspeople as often as possible.
- The new facility was built with an investment of $16.5 million. We operate on an annual budget of around $3 million.
- Our facility can host up to 3,200 visitors, and up to 700 for an event. It has five floors, including a four-season rooftop and office space. It covers 56,290 square feet with 26,000 used for public space and 13,775 reserved for future expansion.
- Our record-high attendance in one day is 3,200 visitors.
- Built in 1929, our 100 N. Hamilton St. building was originally a Montgomery Ward department store.
- While founded in 1980, our current location opened in August, 2010. It was brought to life with the work of J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., Madison, WI, and The Kubala Washatko Architects Inc., Cedarburg, WI.