From this date the entire project from start to finish took four years to complete. The twenty acre parcel of land at 6th and Canal Streets was purchased from the City of Milwaukee in March of 2005. The ground breaking ceremony took place on June 1, 2006 with H-D racer Scott Parker breaking ground by dropping the clutch on a Sportster XL 883R. The first steel arrived on December 21, 2006 and was used to create the skeletons of the buildings. The brickwork for the South wall was started in April of 2007. When completed the South wall consisted of approximately 20, 800 grey and black glazed bricks to create the large “Harley-Davidson.” The massive illuminated Bar & Shield sign took about six months to complete. The Poblocki Sign Company of West Allis, Wisconsin started building the mammoth sign on November 13, 2007 and it was completed and installed in March of 2008. The sign is 22 feet 8 inches wide, 22 feet 8 inches deep, and 17 feet 6 inches high. It weighs nearly 23,000 pounds and hangs in one of the 80 foot towers near the entrance of the museum building. The Harley-Davidson Museum opened on July 12, 2008 shortly before the 105th Anniversary celebration.
The Museum is home to permanent and temporary exhibits that tell the history of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and show how American history, the history of technology and the evolution of industrial design are just some of the elements that have made the company what it is today.