Panorama Display


Building a Milwaukee Icon: Harley-Davidson’s Juneau Avenue Factory

Harley-Davidson Museum, Bridge
Opened September 6, 2019 


A recently recovered cache of architectural drawings includes plans for the original Juneau Avenue facility. The pencil drawings, along with archival photographs, demonstrate the whirlwind pace of the company’s early growth. While building an international business—going from producing just over 1,000 motorcycles in 1909 to manufacturing 27,000 motorcycles in 1920—the company’s Milwaukee factory experienced near-constant expansion. Construction through this relatively brief period created the buildings that today, a century later, are still the proud home of Harley-Davidson.

While motorcycle production ceased at the site in 1973, today the Juneau Avenue facility serves as the company’s corporate headquarters and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The facility is a highly visible, active tie to Milwaukee’s proud industrial heritage. The Juneau Avenue structure is a lasting testament to the vision and hard work of the company’s founders and its dedicated employees.

“Building a Milwaukee Icon” provides a snapshot of Harley-Davidson’s formative years and illustrates a chapter of Milwaukee history when the city was known as the “Machine Shop to the World.”