We advance education within the fields of historic preservation and the administration of landmarks and historic preservation commissions, through public discussions, groups, forms, panels, lectures, distribution of newsletters, and other similar programs. Founded in 1985, the Wisconsin Association of Historic Preservation Commissions, Inc. (WAHPC) is a non-stock, not for profit Wisconsin corporation, formally affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society.
An annual meeting and conference is held each April at a historic site to provide programs on a variety of topics and to permit attendees to exchange information and news. A popular portion of each conference is the “roundtable” discussion in which attendees share progress and problems. Tours of historic buildings and sites also are offered.
WAHPC promulgates sample forms and model internal operating procedures for commission administration. Experienced commissioners are available for telephone, internet and on-site consultation on subjects of interest. We encourage commission members in our various communities to reach out to constituents and share the cultural and economic benefits of historic preservation.
Historic preservation goes well beyond the protection and rehabilitation of historic building and sites, and embraces creative and collaborative activities that build appreciation for the community’s cultural and aesthetic assets. Here are just some of the actions supported by WAHPC members throughout Wisconsin:
- Sponsorship of “Local History 101” and “The Architecture of Our Town” programs that are enjoyed by newcomers and natives alike
- Guided walking tours of historic districts
- Rehabilitation of war memorials
- Stage productions at historic homes, theaters and opera houses
- Restoration of local museum buildings
- Award programs for excellence in preservation and restoration
- Acceptance of the donation of historic conservation easements
- Myth-busting outreach to local real estate professionals
- “Talking Spirits” production at local cemetaries
- Updating of municipal park facilities in ways that are sensitive to historic resources
- Tours of historic homes, businesses and churches
- Conservation of historic artifacts
- Local seminars on historic preservation tax credits
- Re-enactment of historic community events
- Promotion of the idea that “the greenest building is the one that already exists”
- Conservation of historic municipal and utility structures
- Promotion of heritage tourism
- Encouragement of visual arts featuring historic buildings and sites
- Development of historical marker programs, and participation in the Official State Historical Marker program
- Purchase of materials on historic preservation for local library collections
- Participation in local history courses offered in the schools
- Promotion of bird habits at historic sites and gardens
The Wisconsin Association of Historic Preservation Commissions connects the work of local historic preservation commissions with broader preservation trends. By serving as a clearinghouse, WAHPC also provides relevant and timely information to organizations, communities, and individuals that engage in local preservation efforts.