Tons of priceless artwork is stored inside this Milwaukee building

Tons of priceless artwork is stored inside this Milwaukee building

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File this one under “who knew?” When you make your way through the Menomonee Valley via St. Paul Avenue, you’re likely to pass a priceless collection of art and other rare objects, discreetly tucked inside a 1924 building.

This week on Urban Spelunking, we go inside Guardian Fine Art Services, a super-secure art storage warehouse at 1635 W. St. Paul Ave.

Guardian Fine Art Services at 1635 W. St. Paul Ave. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo

Understandably, details were a bit scarce for confidentiality reasons, but it’s clear security is a top priority. In addition to locked lockers, cameras monitor every storage area, with 24/7 staff on hand. The five-story space is also humidity and climate-controlled to ensure the oldest and most valuable pieces remain in the best condition possible.

We were not allowed to view an actual storage locker, but here’s a look at a model. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo

Again, for security reasons, the Guardian’s management couldn’t divulge specific clients, but we’re told Milwaukee area museums keep precious items in storage there, as well as private collectors.

And here’s another part that may be surprising — even in such a secure space, there is a portion of the building that is open to the public. The Warehouse is a fine art gallery that is open to visitors at select times.

A view of The Warehouse art gallery. Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo

Listen to this week’s podcast for more about the facility and the gallery, plus details on the building’s former life as a warehouse in the Menomonee Valley.

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