By Kris Leonhardt
ALLOUEZ – The Robinson Hill Historic District in Allouez has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NPS).
“The Robinson Hill District was approved by NPS in 2021, but we held off on the celebration event until a few weeks ago due to the supply-chain shortage on the street signs, staff turnover in our streets, and then the road projects that just wrapped up last month,” said Allouez Director of Planning and Community Development Trevor Fuller.
“Property owners would have been first made aware of the district eligibility following our Architecture Intensive Survey Report of the entire village back in 2012-13. We then invited residents who lived in any eligible property identified in this district to informational sessions in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Based on who was in attendance in 2015, we moved forward with listing our first district – the Miramar Drive Historic District.
“Based off of who was in attendance in 2017, we moved forward with our second district, this district – the Robinson Hill Historic District. We then had subsequent meetings with the property owners and kept them informed by email, physical mail, and neighborhood groups throughout the whole process.”
The historical district consists of an area that includes South Jackson Street and South Van Buren Street, bordered by Catherine Street to the north and the Wisconsin Central Railroad to the south.
The neighborhood is filled with homes in Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, bungalow and ranch styles — architecture significant to the time period of 1910 to 1953.
“The district consists of 74 small to modestly sized residential buildings. Its development began with the construction of the Matthew and Annie Parizak House in 1910 and ended with the construction of the Daniel and Yetta Betten House in 1953. Typical of prevailing residential architectural styles of the period, Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Ranch and other styles are common and often demonstrate integrity and quality. During the period of significance, railroad crews referred to Robinson Hill as ‘Diaper Alley’ because of all the cloth diapers hanging on clotheslines behind the homes on Allouez Terrace,” the National Park Service nomination form stated.
“The district has 57 contributing and 17 non-contributing buildings. Of the non-contributing resources, 15 have been excluded due to a loss of architectural integrity and two because their dates of construction fall well outside the period of significance. Individually, the contributing resources include fine representative examples of some of the most popular styles applied to residential architecture in Wisconsin during the period of significance.
Fuller said the village is now working on their third and final district — the Sunset Circle Residential District.
“That district nomination will be reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Review Board on Nov. 17 and then subsequently by the National Parks Service at a later date,” he added.
Listing on the register provides formal recognition of a property’s historical, architectural or archeological significance.
Under federal law, the listing places “no restrictions on what a non-federal owner may do with their property up to and including destruction, unless the property is involved in a project that receives Federal assistance, usually funding or licensing/permitting” according to the National Park Service website.
Owners may qualify for potential state tax benefits or grant opportunities.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov.