Snap-on Museum

Kenosha, Wisconsin

The project encompasses an interior remodel and expansion of the prized Snap-On museum into the neighboring warehouse space. The project includes a galley kitchen as well as storage space, and a auxiliary support office and maintenance areas for the adjacent Ideaforge (auditorium) space. This project allows Snap-On the ability to entertain 40-60 guests within their newly renovated/expanded museum space rather than using it solely as a showcase, they can actually experience it with their clients and guests. The galley kitchen allows support services for entraining in their auditorium where they host a large number of events year round.

This was a four month project that had to be completed in two and a half months, incorporating custom unique assemblies and materials to engage guests in the experience of Snap-On’s history; all involved long lead times and time consuming installation. The constraining schedule is to accommodate a shareholder’s meeting for their global executives and showcase the new project. Double shifts and weekend work was part of the solution to deliver this project on-time.

The “Snap-on Museum” is located within Snap-on’s world headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, displaying over 500 artifacts that depict people and events from its almost 100 year history. The Snap-on Museum increased its exhibit area by 1,581 SF to 4,115 SF. The museum addition emphasizes triumphs, sacrifices and dreams of those that led to the success, growth and development of this amazing company that today reaches over 130 countries.

The museum strives to inspire associates, franchisees, clients and visitors with its rich and unique history and recognizes and honors those that created the strong foundation Snap-on has built on throughout the last 95 years.


  • 2015 ENR Midwest’s Best Projects – Award of Merit for Renovation/Restoration
  • 2015 Milwaukee Business Journal Real Estate Award – Best Regional Impact
  • 2014 American Society of Interior Designers, Design Excellence Award, Contract-Retail/Showroom Category, Bronze


  • Size: 8,200 SF
  • Architect: Kahler Slater


  • Project’s unique aggressive fast-track schedule from April 24, 2014; completed August 1, 2014
  • Design, construction and installation of custom made ceiling assembly, custom made exhibit, and timeline exhibit
  • Construction took place adjacent to corporate office space and distribution creating many planning and logistical challenges to avoid disruption of daily operations
  • Energy saving & efficient LED lighting and controls
  • 150 LF custom timeline display cabinet with a dimensional tolerance of a 1/4” and modular designed rear panels
  • Over 70 graphic panels in the timeline
  • Over 500 artifacts on display
  • Over 300 product tags
  • 750 square-feet of anti-reflective glass for a clear viewing of the timeline artifacts
    High-end audio visual elements to further reinforce the museum and dining experience
    9 foot by 5 foot video wall
  • “Established 1920” logo highlighting Snap-on’s history
  • Custom made bar grate ceiling and wall assembly
  • Pivot wall to mask kitchen servery from dining experience
  • Unique black anodized diamond plate flooring at entry to museum
  • Custom-designed and built curved horizontal and vertically illuminated lighting element at entry