The Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, recently held a ribbon-cutting for its new elevator, allowing barrier-free access to the mansion section of the museum for the first time in its 72-year history, the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter reports. The six-stop elevator provides access to four floors of the Vilas-Rahr Mansion and two floors of exhibition galleries. The opening of the elevator is decades in the making, as previous attempts were hampered by architectural and financial limitations. This was the final of many attempts by the museum — which is home to artwork by Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and others — and the city to add accessibility features to the 1893 Queen Anne-style Victorian Mansion since it opened in 1950 as the Rahr Museum and Civic Center. The US$1.3 million, multi-year renovation project establishes the museum “as a fully accessible facility.” The multi-year project was spearheaded by Rahr-West Art Museum staff and board and funded through a Federal Community Development Block Grant administered through the State of Wisconsin, supplemented with support from the City of Manitowoc. Renovation design was provided by Somerville Architects of Green Bay and project construction through Mike Koenig Construction of Sheboygan.
Wisconsin Museum Opens First Elevator in Its History