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De Pere neighborhoods could make historic register

By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – Two more neighborhoods in De Pere may be up for consideration for the National Register of Historic Places.

The Daviswood Ranch Homes area and the Mansion Street World War II Defense Homes area are both on De Pere’s east side.

The De Pere Common Council agreed on Tuesday, Sept. 3, to hire consultant Timothy Heggland of Mazomanie to study the neighborhoods for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Daviswood subdivision on East and West St. Francis Road contains 35 ranch homes north of Ridgeway Boulevard.

The homes were built between 1953 and 1956 and originally sold for about $20,000.

The subdivision is considered to have the best collection of ranch-style homes in De Pere, according to a previous historic architectural study.

Because of this, the area may qualify for national status under the criterion of architecture.

The Daviswood Ranch Homes were among the earliest to include deed restrictions, such as requiring front setbacks and attached garages and not permitting the raising of livestock.

The Mansion Street World War II Defense Homes area is bordered by South Erie Street to the west and Jordan Road on the east.

The 14 homes were built in 1941 and 1942 as defense housing for people who worked in occupations related to World War II.

All are two-bedroom homes of approximately 700 square feet each.

The first defense home in the neighborhood, 903 Mansion Street, was the biggest (780 square feet) and the most expensive ($4,200), while the next two, 902 and 908 Mansion Street, measured 28-by-26-feet and cost $2,700 each.

Funds for the consultant will come from part of a $12,000 federal grant from the Department of the Interior, administered by the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Office.

Alderman Dean Raasch asked about other consultants who bid on the project and what the difference was in price and qualifications.

De Pere Zoning Administrator and Senior Planner Peter Schleinz said the state approved five potential consultants for De Pere to reach out to, four of whom responded to De Pere’s request for a proposal.

The four were narrowed down to two who had prior experience in De Pere, Schleinz said.

Heggland’s bid was the lowest of the two, at around $10,000.

Heggland worked on more than a dozen successful register nominations for the City of De Pere, including the St. Norbert College Historic District, the Main Avenue Historic District, the South Broadway Historic District, the Randall Avenue Historic District, the North Michigan Street-North Superior Street Historic District, the Union House Hotel, De Pere Public Library, and Nicolet High School, as well as others.

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