Milwaukee, WI

Historic Preservation

In 1983, portions of the Brewers Hill neighborhood were designated a Local Historic District and National Historic District.  With this designation, properties in the Brewers Hill Historic District are under the protection of Milwaukee’s Historic Preservation Ordinance, and no changes which require a building permit may be made to the exterior unless the owner first obtains a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).

If you are a property owner in the Brewers Hill Historic district, a COA may be required for exterior alterations to existing structures and construction of new structures. The Historic Brewers Hill Association does not oversee the Historic Preservation Ordinance. Please contact the City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Staff to discuss your proposed project to determine if a COA is needed and/or if review is required by the Historic Preservation Commission.

  • How to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) for a historic site or structure in Milwaukee:
  • The City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) administers Milwaukee’s Historic Preservation Ordinance, adopted in 1981, which provides certain kinds of legal protection for buildings or sites that have been declared historic by the Common Council. The HPC is responsible for designating historic landmarks and historic districts and for approving COAs for permission to alter historic buildings and to construct new buildings in historic districts.
  • Historic Property Plaque Program: In order to celebrate Milwaukee’s unique heritage and recognize properties that contribute to the historic fabric of the city, the HPC oversees the city’s Historic Property Plaque Program. Launched in 2014, the program selects exceptional properties within the community, researches the history of the property and provides the property owner with the opportunity to commemorate that history with a plaque on the building’s façade.

Other resources on historic preservation:


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