Conference Stories | White Elm Nursery – Hartland, WI

The following excerpt was presented by the Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation at the 2013 Local History and Historic Preservation Conference in early October. This excerpt is the thirdin a series of eight stories we will publish to the WTHP blog over the next few weeks. Please check back often for more. You can find the whole series here.


The 1929 White Elm Nursery, designed by prominent Milwaukee architectural firm Eschweiler and Eschweiler, is a scholarly example of the Tudor Revival Style applied to an unusual building type. The first floor of the building housed office and retail space for the nursery, while the upstairs was living quarters for the property’s caretaker. A large brick chimney stack on the south facade serviced the boiler that provided steam power for the nursery. The building and its associated structures functioned as a nursery and greenhouse for almost 75 years. In 1986, White Elm Nursery was determined eligible for inclusion in the National Register Multiple Property Listing for Hartland. It is currently bank-owned and threatened with demolition for a proposed 36-unit apartment complex. The Hartland Historical Society is encouraging the owner and developer to search for creative solutions to retain and restore the Tudor Revival building.

Download the PDF of this story here

State Official: County Violated State Law In Selling Eschweiler Buildings

Here's an update on the Eschweiler Buildings for those following along with our posts. It seems that Milwaukee County acted improperly in the original sale of the Eschweiler buildings to the UWM Real Estate Foundation.  The attorney for the WI Historical Society,  Chip Brown, is now involved and has forwarded the issue to the Attorney General.  The following is an excerpt from Fox 6 West Allis' coverage of the story. Click the link at the end of the clip for the complete story.

A legal specialist for the Wisconsin Historical Society has notified the Attorney General's Office that he believes that the sale of the Eschweiler Campus Historic District by Milwaukee County to the UWM Real Estate Foundation violated state law.

He went on to say because of that, Wauwatosa should deny any request to demolish any of the Eschweiler buildings — and that in one scenario, the violations could result in as drastic an action as vacating the original land sale.

Chip Brown, an attorney and government assistance and training specialist, said the county failed to notify the state Historical Society of the sale of the historic property and failed to obtain a conservation easement to protect it.

Visit Wauwatosa Patch for more...

Help Save the Wauwatosa Eschweiler Buildings

URGENT – Please plan to attend the May 3, 2012 Wauwatosa Historic PreservationCommission meeting! The project developer may present a proposal to demolish four of the 1912 buildings. We need people on-hand to defend these architecturally and historically significant buildings and support their re-use as part of the site’s overall development plan.

The Tudor Revival Style buildings were designed by Alexander Eschweiler for the Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy. All of the remaining buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


7:00 p.m.

COMMITTEE ROOM #2 Wauwatosa City Hall 7725 W. North Ave.

  • New Business

  • Approval of meeting minutes

  • Eschweiler Buildings Redevelopment Update – Initial discussion of proposed plans