Three Monona properties are moving forward in the nomination process for the National Registry of Historic Places.
The nomination process began in the summer of 2019 when the City of Monona Landmarks Commission received a grant from the National Parks Service (NPS).
Monona City Planner Douglas Plowman said the commission utilized the grant money to fund an intensive survey of historical and architectural sites in the city. The survey results yielded 16 different properties within Monona city limits deemed to be historically significant.
In November 2019, on behalf of the Landmarks Commission, Plowman applied for and received an additional $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Historical Society to build upon the survey and fund the actual nomination process of the buildings.
“The grant pays for a consultant to prepare the national register nomination on the property owners’ behalf,” Plowman said.
At the Jan. 4 city council meeting, Plowman introduced Timothy Heggland, a historic preservation consultant based out of Mazomanie, as the primary consultant who will be working on the nomination on behalf of the city. Plowman said the Landmarks Commission conducted interviews with four different potential consultants before deciding on Heggland.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Cultural Resource Management department will also be assisting in the nomination process.
Two Monona Grove School District buildings, both Nichols and Winnequah, made the list of qualified buildings but the school board voted against nomination, citing potential hindrance of its educational mission.
“As a board, we can recognize the historical significance of our buildings and preserve them as long as we deem appropriate, but we have an educational mission first,” board member Peter Sobol said. “I am unwilling to do anything that might tie the hands of future school boards to do what’s right for our educational mission.”
Just as Nichols and Winnequah needed school board approval, the remaining 14 buildings needed approval from their respective property owners before the city could officially move to nominate them.
Of those 14, only three decided to proceed with the process. The two residential buildings moving forward with nomination are located at 4811 Tonyawatha Trail and 5805 Winnequah Road. The commercial nomination is 4207 Monona Drive, which currently houses the Habitat for Humanity resale store.
The official nominations will need to be submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) by Aug. 15 of this year.
From there, the SHPO will submit completed nomination applications to the NPS, at which point an official decision will be made by the NPS within 45 days upon receipt of the application.
If the three properties are approved, the city of Monona will officially have six listings on the National Registry of Historic Places. The city’s current listings include the Monona Mound, the Outlet Mound, and Tompkins-Brindler Mound Group.