Commercial: Gertrude Salzer Gordon Children’s Museum

La Crosse, WI

Anne Steuer saw a need for a children’s museum in La Crosse in 1995 and spear-headed a fund raising campaign. The generous gift of a vacant furniture store in 1999 launched the Gertrude Salzer Gordon Children’s Museum. The historic art deco style building contains 33,700 square feet of remodeled space including a 3,000 square foot two level addition. The public areas contain three floors of flexible exhibit space, a museum store, ticket/orientation area, a theater, birthday party rooms, and a craft center. The public floors are organized around a three story open stair that is visible from the ticket counter and the storefront windows. This eases monitoring, security, and ticketing difficulties present in a multiple level building. The stair overlooks a climbing wall and a river exhibit in the lower level. The top floor houses administrative space, storage, exhibit assembly, and a workshop. The street façade was brightened with new windows and doors, a protective canopy, and colorful graphics.