A Sun Prairie historian is urging the city to preserve its heritage after three historic buildings were demolished this past year.
After losing his battle to save the Thompson-Schneider house from redevelopment, former mayor Joe Chase is redoubling his efforts to recognize 30 properties in the city that already have state and federal historic status.
Sun Prairie, is the second-fastest-growing city in Dane County with development booming on its westside. But across town, a newly-recognized historic district downtown boasts the majority of landmarks like the old city hall, Hotel Kleiner and the former Sun Prairie Public Library.
Chase presented the list of historic properties to city alders in March and requested it be added to the city’s comprehensive plan but that hasn’t been done yet. Chase reminded alders that May was Historic Preservation Month and urged action.
The Thompson-Schneider site wasn’t the only historic landmark demolished recently, Chase said, noting that the house at the intersection of Main and Vine and the J & L Garage were also historic.
“The definition of historic seems to be the crux of the issue because the city says it doesn’t have any way to designate a property as historic but the property on Vine and Main Street was historic but no one did research on it except me,” Chase told alders at the May 25 virtual Committee of the Whole meeting.
Chase also said other properties, like the old McGovern’s and the only 12-sided house in Wisconsin at the roundabout of Main Street and Thompson Road, will likely be leveled soon.
A goal of the city’s comprehensive plan is to preserve sites in the city that have cultural, architectural and historical significance.