The Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation is a statewide, non-profit, member-supported organization founded in 1986.

Our mission is to promote the cultural and economic value of historic places in our state, and advocate for policies that encourage and enable their conservation.


All Wisconsin communities have Places that Matter - Places at the heart of the community that tell residents something about the people who settled there, worked there, and built the town, about what their town was like a century or two ago, or about a period that changed the community. These places can be buildings, historic sites, town squares, factory complexes, old downtowns, and historic districts that are associated with the history and heritage that are at the souls of our communities. We believe it's important for communities to recognize these places, and take steps to maintain their presence so they can say something about the heritage of their communities to future generations. 

We believe that the preservation of historic buildings is good for the global environment. Reusing existing buildings uses less energy and fewer resources than mining and refining raw materials, manufacturing building materials, transporting them to a building site, and constructing a new building. 

We believe that preservation of historic places is good for communities. Communities that preserve their historic and cultural places can cultivate a unique identity that can attract visitors, businesses, and residents. 

We believe that preservation is good for local economies, and local jobs. Heritage tourism is big business in Wisconsin. Communities that can show off their culture and their heritage will attract visitors, reward them for visiting, and give them reasons to stay longer. Also, rehabilitation of historic buildings is more labor-intensive than material-intensive. Often the specialized labor needed to work on old buildings can be found within the community or in nearby communities.