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A $24,900 grant from the Wisconsin Historical Society could help Wauwatosa plan for its future, said Sharon Eiff, chair of the city's historic preservation commission.

The Wisconsin Historical Society awarded more than $90,000 in Certified Local Government sub grants to seven communities across the state; Wauwatosa's grant was the largest.

The city of Milwaukee received $10,500 and Madison received $12,500, among others. Wauwatosa received the total amount allowed, Eiff said.

The grant funds will be used to conduct an intensive survey that will focus on historic, nonresidential properties within Wauwatosa, said Eiff.

'I just think we as a preservation commission are incredibly grateful to receive this kind of financial assistance,' she said.

According to the city's application to the Wisconsin Historical Society for the grant, the commission looks to hire a historic preservation consultant to prepare the survey, which would identify and evaluate structures, buildings and districts of architectural or historical significance that are potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The intensive survey would replace a reconnaissance survey done in 1996. Much of the city's west side was not included in the 1996 survey as it didn't meet a 50-year threshold for National Register eligibility, according to the application.

Eiff said the survey's results can provide the city's planning department with updated information about historical sites and help Wauwatosa 'realize its assets.'

'These are incredibly good planning tools for cities to use,' Eiff said. 'They serve as an agenda for preservation and its community members to gather around and use in the future for projects.'

History in Wauwatosa

The Certified Local Government program is a federal program administered by the Wisconsin Historical Society, and only governments that have approved historical preservation programs are eligible for the sub grants, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The city's Historic Preservation Commission was created in 1995 to promote the preservation of the many historic places in Wauwatosa. The commission's primary responsibilities include designating historic properties, sites and districts; serving as a design review board for locally designated historic properties; and providing historic preservation education.

Nineteen properties in Wauwatosa have been historically designated in Wauwatosa, including the Wauwatosa Cemetery Chapel, near Wright Street and Wauwatosa Avenue, the Kneeland-Walker House at 7406 Hillcrest Drive, and the Wauwatosa Women's Club building, 1626 Wauwatosa Ave., among many others.

Eiff said the survey will not cover the entire city, and it's yet to be determined which part of Wauwatosa will be the focus. Eiff said Wauwatosa's historic preservation commission will try to apply for the grant next year so that the entire city can be surveyed.

'We're thrilled,' she said.

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