Restoration of a National Treasure: Grand Opening of Soldiers Home Returns Site to the Service of Veterans

Date Published: 
June 9th, 2021

From the Milwaukee Independent:

The Alexander Company celebrated the grand opening and dedication of six buildings on May 27 at the Milwaukee Soldiers Home campus, a monumental milestone marking the completion of a complex, decade-long preservation and rehabilitation project achieved through the collaboration of organizations nationwide.

Opened to veterans in March 2021, the six restored buildings now offer 101 permanent supportive housing units for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Veteran residents receive access to a range of supportive services, including case management, educational training and employment assistance, benefits assistance, recreational activities, independent living skills training, sobriety maintenance and nutritional support.

“Over the years, there have been naysayers who said this would never be done. But we knew we could do it,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “I honestly cannot think of a more extraordinary and meaningful historic preservation project in this community in the last generation.”

Organizations across the country, as well as locally, joined together to make this complex historic project a reality. Significant grassroots support from preservationists, historians, veterans, elected officials and business leaders aided in identifying a vision for the future use of the District’s vacant buildings.

“This incredible preservation success demonstrates the benefits of historic restoration and what can be achieved through a successful public-private partnership,” said Joe Alexander, President of the Alexander Company. “It serves as proof that strategic partnerships, visionary leadership and creative funding cannot just save buildings, but tackle homelessness, ignite a community and serve as a national model.”

The Alexander Company and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) brought together their expertise in historic preservation and adaptive re-use, commitment to providing high-quality, affordable housing.

“This project shows it takes a village to raise a village,” said Tony Pérez, Secretary-Executive Director of HACM. “The intentionality of the VA, the commitment of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and combined 90 years of real estate and property experience to lead the restoration project. and Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), Mayor Barrett’s support and the involvement of investors, philanthropic-minded corporations and individuals are what made the preservation of Soldiers Home possible.”

Read the Milwaukee Independent’s article “Restoration of a National Treasure: Grand Opening of Soldiers Home Returns Site to the Service of Veterans,” featuring the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee.

You can also read CLPHA’s previous coverage of the Milwaukee Soldiers Home project here 

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