The Importance of Preserving Historic Downtown Milwaukee

Apr 1, 2015

Reclamation and preservation of historical buildings can be part of an overall gentrification scheme. But historical preservation can also take place in the midst of other economic development. 

In fact, advocates for preservation say it can serve as a catalyst for growth.

Stephanie Meeks is the President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  She was in Milwaukee recently and spoke with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich by phone about the importance of not only preserving buildings, but changing our culture.

"We do have a bit of a 'throw away' culture in the United States. We'll build it, we'll use it for a while, we'll tear it down, we'll build something again. That's a wasteful culture."

In addition to saving historic structures, Meeks stresses the importance that landmarks have in their communities.

"There are standards for buildings in terms of age, in terms of their architectural integrity, in terms of the specialness of their architecture...but also, the specialness to the community."

Stephanie Meeks is the President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  She was in Milwaukee recently, which included a visit to one of the trust’s priority site – the VA’s Old Soldiers Home