George Watts & Son Building Could Gain Historic Designation

The Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal is reporting that the building that once housed George Watts & Sons and the George Watts Tea Room is being considered for historic designation by the City of Milwaukee. The designation could impact future development and modifications.

According to the article, six buildings constructed between 1850 and 1925 on the block could receive historic designation. The block was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 as part of a district but not with individual NRHP listings nor local historic designation.

The NRHP listings do not guarantee protection against extensive modifications or even demolition, but local designations might offer such protection. Any such plans would need the approval of the Historic Preservation Commission if the buildings are given the local designation. The designations must be approved by the commission and the Common Council. A public hearing has been set for April 6, 2020. The proposal was introduced by Alderman Robert Bauman.

Matthew Keenan Residence.
Noted Milwaukee architect, Edward Townsend Mix, designed the Italianate residence
for the vice president of Northwestern Mutual Life.
Landmarkhunter photo by J.R. Manning.

The six buildings under consideration include the building built by George Watts in 1925, two commercial buildings and homes, one an Edward Townsend Mix designed residence built by the vice-president of Northwestern Mutual Life. (The Watts businesses closed December 31, 2016 and the building was sold about a year ago.)

Link: Downtown Block Could Be Named Historic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 4, 2020


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