The Historic Preservation Plan

What's New

May 3 and May 21 Community Goals & Objectives Meetings
The City of Madison will host two public meetings to discuss community goals and objectives on May 3 and May 21, 2018. The meetings will include presentations by City staff and the consultant team to describe the findings from the previous meetings and engage the public in conversations about the desired outcomes of the project. The meetings will also include interactive activities and smaller group discussions.

May 3rd: 5:30pm - 7:00pm at the Red Gym (716 Langon Street), Wisconsin Room B&C

May 21st: 6:00pm - 7:30pm at East High School (2222 E Washington Avenue), Room 1042 LMC Gold

Please join us and bring a neighbor.

We're on Facebook!
The City of Madison Historic Preservation Plan has a Facebook page. Visit us on Facebook!

Online Survey
An online survey was created to allow people to share their preservation priorities to provide guidance for future areas of focus. The survey was available online and in print, was open for approximately three months, and was completed by 755 respondents. The survey provided a means to reach a broad base of people and opinions and establish a baseline of perspectives. Notification about the survey was emailed to known interested parties, posted on the project website, and announced at all public meetings for both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Historic Preservation Project.

A More Complete Story Podcast
Listen to Amy Scanlon, Jason Tish, Toriana Pettaway and Meghan Randolph talk about the Historic Preservation Project

October 29 Wisconsin State Journal Article by Dean Mosiman
Read the article here

Project Overview

The City of Madison is creating its first ever Historic Preservation Plan. This plan will identify, celebrate and preserve the places that represent our collective histories. In addition, the ordinance standards for Madison's five local historic districts will be updated. The descriptions and materials related to both of these efforts can be found below.

Historic Preservation Plan

The Historic Preservation Plan will provide a framework for future preservation that goes beyond the City's current, primarily regulatory, role. It will recommend strategies to more effectively integrate historic preservation into public policy, explore zoning and land use tools, capitalize on economic development and financial incentives, and encourage heritage tourism. This process will employ strategies to engage, educate, and connect with all the groups that make up Madison's unique history, with a particular emphasis on traditionally underrepresented groups.

An important goal of the Preservation Plan is to preserve what is most important to Madison's fabric. It is necessary to have an inclusive, complete and accurate inventory of the places that create its story. This part of the process will build on current documentation of resources, identify gaps, and develop a strategy to ensure a complete, accurate, and expandable survey.

Kick Off Meeting
The City of Madison hosted a public meeting to kick off the Historic Preservation Project on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at the Goodman Community Center.

The meeting included an introduction of the process by City staff and the consultant team for the two parts of the project - developing the Historic Preservation Plan and updating the existing local historic district ordinances. The meeting included interactive sessions regarding public engagement, discovery of underrepresented communities' histories and an overview of the preservation plan development and ordinance revisions.

View The Historic Preservation Project presentation.

November 2nd & 29th Community Values and Historic Resources Discovery Meetings
The City of Madison hosted two public meetings to discuss community values and discover historic resources on November 2 and 29, 2017. The meetings included presentations by City staff and the consultant team describing the Project and the need to gather values around historic preservation. The consultant explained that examples of value statements can come from adopted plans and policies, meeting comments and online survey results. The meetings also included interactive sessions to discover those places that attendees felt should be retained for future generations and why. From this discussion, the attendees began to develop value statements for further discussion.

View the November 2nd presentation
View the November 29th presentation

February 26, 2018 Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee Meeting 1
The City of Madison Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee held its first meeting on Monday February 26, 2018. The Advisory Committee will advise staff, the consultants, and the Landmarks Commission on the development of the Historic Preservation Plan and related public engagement, and serve as a forum for public testimony and comments regarding the Plan process and its desired contents. At this first meeting, the Advisory Committee elected a Chair and Vice Chair and discussed procedures and the schedule of the committee. Staff and the consultants provided a presentation on the Plan process and the findings from previous meetings and other sources, including draft community value statements.

Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee Meeting - February 26, 2018
View the February 26th presentation
View the Revised Community Values
View the Revised Timeline

April 11, 2018 Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee Meeting 2
The Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee held its second meeting on Wednesday April 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the John Wall Pavilion, Tenney Park, 402 N Thornton Avenue. The Advisory Committee learned about the purpose of City plans and the benefits of historic preservation. The Committee discussed how the Historic Preservation Plan can go beyond the typical plan to be uniquely Madison.

Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee Meeting - April 11, 2018
View the April 11th presentation

Historic District Ordinance Revisions

Madison's five local historic districts each have their own ordinance requirements for additions, alterations, and new construction. Some of these ordinances are over 40 years old, and have not been modified since they were created. This process will analyze the historic resources in each district, examine successes and challenges, evaluate current ordinances, and propose new or revised ordinance language.

Landmarks Ordinance Review Committee Meeting (LORC) - June 29, 2017
Landmarks Meeting - August 14, 2017
     Meeting Outcomes and Findings - August 14, 2017
LORC Meeting - September 14, 2017
     Meeting Outcomes & Findings - September 14, 2017
First Settlement - October 11, 2017
Mansion Hill - October 11, 2017
University Heights - October 30, 2017

Landmarks Ordinance Review Committee Meeting (LORC) - December 18, 2017

Public Engagement Plan - Ordinance Revisions - January 29, 2018
Consultant Team

To assist with the development of the Historic Preservation Plan and the revisions to the ordinance standards for the local historic districts, the City has engaged a team of consultants. The consultant team is comprised of a variety of professionals to deliver the specific experience and insight needed for the development of the Historic Preservation Plan.  The team includes several professional historic preservation consultants, a historic preservation architect, and an urban planner and public participation specialist.

Legacy Architecture Logo

Legacy Architecture, Inc. is an architectural design and historic preservation consulting firm based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, founded by Jennifer L. Lehrke.  Legacy Architecture has earned a statewide reputation as one of the leading providers of historic preservation design and consulting services in Wisconsin.  Legacy Architecture has nominated properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places and has completed numerous architectural and historical intensive surveys in urban, small town suburban and rural communities across Wisconsin.  Please visit the Legacy Architecture, Inc. website for more information

Jennifer L. Lehrke, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, will serve as a Principal Architect & Historic Preservation Consultant, and Bob Short, Associate AIA and Rowan Davidson, Associate AIA, will serve as Historic Preservation Consultants for the Historic Preservation Plan project.

Ce Planning Studio Logo

Ce Planning Studio is an urban planning consulting firm based in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, founded by Carolyn J. Esswein.  Ce Planning Studio is known for urban design, design guideline and code development, public participation strategies and implementation, community redevelopment planning, and comprehensive planning.  Ce Planning Studio has completed numerous neighborhood revitalization plans and cultural resource chapters in comprehensive plans in Wisconsin.  Please visit the Ce Planning Studio website for more information

Carolyn J. Esswein, AICP, CNU-A, will serve as the Urban Planner & Public Participation Specialist for the project.

Other Historic Preservation Consultants include:
Timothy F. Heggland, Historic Preservation Consultant, has worked on numerous historic preservation projects for the City of Madison and other Wisconsin communities over the past several decades.  Tim's vast knowledge of Madison's local history and architectural resources will serve as an invaluable resource for the planning effort.

Jason Tish, Historic Preservation Consultant and founder of Archetype Historic Property Consultants, has worked on numerous historic tax credit, small-cap TIF, and fa├žade improvement grant projects as well as local, state, and federal nominations for historic designation.  Prior to starting Archetype, Jason served as the Executive Director of the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation and brings a wealth of knowledge of Madison's more recent local history and architectural resources. For more information please visit their website at:


Last Updated: 04/20/2018

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