“We can put a wrench in the process”
So says Jill Capicchioni, of the Historic Brewers Hill Association, in an email to the neighborhood mailing list. The “process” that Jill is intent on putting a wrench in is the proposed move of the State Department of Health Services from the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center, 1220 W. Vliet St., to a remodeled space at 2151 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. This proposed move has quickly come under fire from neighborhood residents, for all sorts of reasons, and it doesn’t appear that this is a necessary move, as the current building was remodeled in 2004 at a cost of $12 million which makes this move questionable at best, and a waste of taxpayer dollars at worst.
In her email she suggests that someone files a request for historic designation of the proposed building at 2151 N. Martin Luther King Dr. in what is a transparent attempt to derail the process. It is quite clear from her email that Jill’s intentions have nothing to do with historic preservation. There have been far too many examples of when Milwaukee’s historic preservation laws have been twisted to block development projects, such as the Hide House, and the Palomar project, unfortunately the tactic is catching on.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
On Behalf Of j###########
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 11:39 AM
Subject: Brewers Hill- Help regarding DHS relocation – Historic Preservation
Regarding the relocation of the State Department of Health
Services (DHS) from 1220 W. Vliet Street to
2151 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.
We can put a wrench in the process by requesting that the buliding at 2151 N Dr. Martin Luther King Drive be grated temoporary Historic Designation by the City.
In order to do this we need help with filling out the form.
We need someone to volunteer to help with filling out the section of the document regarding the “significance of the structure”
See the following link:
http://www.mkedcd. org/build/ pdfs/EAppHistDes ig.pdf
We need to file this form ASAP so please email me if you can help!
When these tactics are used, it muddles the debate, and draws into question one’s motivations. Unfortunately this exemplifies an ongoing, often seen, regularly scheduled problem, that is turning Milwaukee’s historic preservation laws into a sham. Historic preservation laws aren’t supposed to be a “wrench,” to keep those people out, protect a view, preserve the status quo, stop a high-rise, or ensure a union deal, but instead to protect a significant piece of architectural work or history. These tactics hurts real preservation efforts, and devalue the process. Enough already.