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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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6614 Hillcrest Drive

6167 Washington Circle

6128 Washington Blvd.

Washington Highlands Historic District
Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County
Developers: Hegemann & Peets
Dates of contributing buildings: 1918-1940

Washington Highlands was the first large subdivision in Milwaukee County. The land was originally the site of a farm owned by the famous Milwaukee brewer, Captain Frederick Pabst. In 1891 he opened a street running east and west through the center of his farm for the construction of a streetcar line giving commuters access to downtown Milwaukee. After the death of Pabst, the property was platted for subdivisions. Richter, Dick & Reuteman were hired to plan, develop and promote the subdivision. In 1916, the nationally known firm of Hegemann & Peet was hired to design the subdivision.

The firm used design standards of the Garden City movement that focused on community planning and development to create a healthful and peaceful environment. Their sensitivity to suburban design can be seen throughout the neighborhood, where streets were laid out to preserve natural features, such as Schoonmaker Creek. Landscape details include two circular plazas, a massive stone-faced bridge along with three private bridges, Lannon stone retaining walls, and a chain of parks. There are distinctive gateways into the neighborhood promoting a sense of seclusion for the residents.

In 1919 management of the subdivision was turned over to the Washington Highlands Homes Association. The association used deed restrictions to create and maintain harmony in appearance. The'Covenants of Washington Highlands' controlled land use, building size, location, and design, dedicated public and recreational land, and eliminated through traffic.

The district was designed during the height of eclectic Period Revival tastes and features a full spectrum of popular architecture. Hegemann & Peet's innovative design incorporated affordable housing in small-scale apartments and duplexes along the borders of the subdivision, reserving the curvilinear streets in the center for up-scale housing.

The homes in this district are private residences. Please respect the rights of the property owners.


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