Renovated Milwaukee Public Library Tippecanoe branch officially reopens

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MILWAUKEE — The Tippecanoe branch of the Milwaukee Public Library has officially reopened following renovations.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 12th at 10:00 a.m.

The Tippecanoe branch library was completely rebuilt from the inside out in 2015 and reopens as a 21st century library model serving as a center for community engagement, learning and development.


The new library features upgraded collaborative spaces, bumped out windows and reading and study spaces, a privately funded garden for children’s programming and self-service technology while preserving some of the architectural gems of the building including a sculpture from MIAD-founder and local artist Guido Brink and the vaulted ceiling constructed of laminated wood beams and channeled wood.

The renovation of the Tippecanoe Branch, a 16,900 square foot stand-alone building, was led by architectural team Engberg Anderson and constructed by Creative Constructors at a cost of $4.5 million.

Funding for the project came from the City of Milwaukee’s capital projects fund.

Special features including a “Secret Garden” were funded by the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation and large gifts from private donors and the reinstallation of “The Spirit of the Manitou” sculpture by Guido Brink.

As a tribute to City Librarian Paula Kiely, who grew up visiting Tippecanoe library, through a generous gift from Barbara Stein, a secret garden embellishes the newly renovated branch and will serve as a place for children’s programs.

Milwaukee Public Library is replacing four branches with new library facilities that will be part of mixed-use projects and completely rebuilding one standalone branch from the inside out. The new facilities will help the city continue to improve library service and save ongoing operating costs, while anchoring catalytic community development projects for each of the neighborhoods and business districts in which the projects are located.

Mayor Tom Barrett, the Common Council and the Library Board of Trustees have dedicated $22.5 million to the redevelopment project. By 2020, the branch system will be completely redeveloped including renovations and upgrades. The branch library system is developed with a shared vision to create community collaboration and lifelong learning through the built environment.