The City of Madison Historic Preservation Plan

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In June of 2017, the City of Madison will begin developing its first ever Historic Preservation Plan. Its focus is to ensure that the community’s collective stories are told and to preserve the historic resources that represent those stories.

The Historic Preservation Plan effort has three distinct parts that will occur simultaneously. Part A will update ordinances for the existing local historic districts, Part B will prioritize completion of a historic resources survey and Part C will develop a plan that will recommend future steps.

Madison Historic Preservation Plan Overview

Process Graphic

Part A- Local Historic District Ordinances

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) – September 14, 2017
Landmarks Meeting – August 14, 2017
LORC Meeting – September 14, 2017

Part B- Historic Resources Research

In order 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.

Part C- 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.

Introducing the Historic Preservation Plan Consultant Team

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 façade 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: 07/14/2017