Soldiers Home gets national historic landmark designation

The National Park Service announced the Soldiers Home Historic District has received a national historic landmark designation. The site is now one of 2,500 in the U.S. with the designation.

The National Soldiers Home Historic District in Milwaukee was recently named one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Soldiers Home was created in 1867, just after the Civil War, under the authorization of President Abraham Lincoln. The 90-acre campus, located near Miller Park and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, was built to provide care and a place of solitude for U.S. war veterans. Several historic buildings remain at the campus, which is owned by the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, maintenance has been deferred on many of the buildings and they are in poor condition. The Ward Memorial Hall building is in imminent danger of collapse and one portion of the roof of the Old Main building collapsed when a roof truss gave way under the weight of snow, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Veterans, preservationists and many others have been fighting for years to help preserve these national treasures right here in Milwaukee,” said U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee. “I look forward to continuing work to see that these buildings are preserved as part of Wisconsin’s legacy.”

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