Ever wondered how houses and businesses get on the National Register of Historic Places? Founded in 1966, the list helps preserve America’s history and maintain associations to our past.
All places on the list must be at least 50 years old, retain “historic integrity” (meaning it hasn’t been overly renovated), and follow one of these requirements:
Associated with a historical event
Associated with a significant person
An example of notable architecture
Provide information critical to understanding history
Property owners can submit their locations to be added to the register, but it’s a lengthy process. After thorough investigation, evaluation, and documentation, only about 10 Wisconsin structures are added every three months to the National Register. In total, 2,500 Badger State buildings are on the list.
There are many benefits to being on the National Registry, including access to grants, tax incentives, and preservation help.
Here are Wisconsin’s latest additions for 2023:
Franklin and Eva Keefe House
Black River Falls
The Keefe House is a private Queen Anne and Colonial Revival-style private residence built in 1910, and one of the only buildings of its kind that has remained mostly unchanged.
This year, the boundaries of Lizard Mound, one of the most well-preserved Native American effigy (burial) mound sites in America, were expanded.
The eight-story affordable housing building, known as Mason Manor, was the “first of its scale” complex when it was built in 1972.
Wilhelm Tischer Blacksmith Shop
Constructed in 1870, Wilhelm Tischer was run as one of the state’s first blacksmith shops by generations of the same family until 1976.
Ruth St. John and John Dunham West House and Gardens
The West House was built in 1934, designed in the Streamline Modern Style, and expanded over time to include large gardens that honor the couple’s love of growing. [pictured below]
North Milwaukee High School
The now-vacant progressive era high school was built in two phases during the 1920s, back when there was actually a city called North Milwaukee.
Designed to feel like a “temple of Oriental art,” architects borrowed Indian, Moorish, Islamic, and Byzantine architectural styles to create the Oriental Theatre’s extravagant ambiance.
Paoli Co-Op Creamery Company Plant
During its time in operation between 1925 to 1980, the Paoli Plant processed and distributed the goods of dozens of farmers, providing an easier way to bring their products to market.
The Schroeder House is architecturally significant as a Tudor Revival-style single-family home, built on high ground overlooking Lake Monona.
Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic
Dr. Gonstead was one of the most influential people in American chiropractic. By the late 1950s, his practice was the largest single-doctor chiropractic office in the world.
Heart Prairie Norwegian Methodist Episcopal Church
With its small size and simple decor, the carefully restored 1850s-era Heart Prairie Church represents the simplicity of the pioneer era.
West Bend Downtown Historic District
The West Bend Historic District spans four blocks along the Milwaukee River and represents the heart of city business, with most buildings constructed between 1864 and 1977.
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