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Church Street Historic District

Wauwatosa City, Milwaukee County, WI

The Church Street Historic District [‡] was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

The Church Street Historic District contains thirteen residential properties and one church. This block of Church Street is characterized by two to two-and-a-half story frame homes from the mid-to-late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The homes enjoy a greater than normal setback from the street and thus present the feeling of a gracious residential area. Most of the homes have garages in the rear.

The southern end of Church Street has always held a special place in Wauwatosa history. The street is the oldest residential street in the City and is characterized by gracious homes dating from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. It is a local concentration of a number of the important architectural styles of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Of particular note are the Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Prairie School and Colonial Revival styles. The homes were constructed from 1857-1920.

When Wauwatosa was founded in 1835, settlement was around the present day intersection of Harwood Avenue and State Street which, in those years, were known as the United States and Watertown Plank Roads, respectively. The present-day Wauwatosa Avenue was a major route north from the Village. These three roads were the principle transportation routes to and through Wauwatosa, and for many years, were the primary sites of homes and businesses. In 1853, the Congregational Church, the first church in the community, was constructed at the present-day corner of Menomonee River Parkway and Church Street. The current Congregational Church (1919) is still on that site. The street up to the church and then north was named, appropriately enough, Church Street and was the first residential street in the young settlement.

The contributing buildings in the Church Street District principally date from the late Victorian period. The oldest house in the District is the Thomas B. Hart home at 1609 Church Street which dates from ca. 1857 while the most recent is the George B. Nase Residence at 7758 Menomonee River Parkway dating from ca. 1920.

‡ Adapted from: Charles W. Causier, Historian, Wauwatosa Historical Society, Church Street Historic District, Milwaukee County, WI, nomination document, 1989, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, DC

Street Names
Church Street