Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

Bounded by N. 68th St., W. Lloyd St., N. 60th St., and Milwaukee Ave.

National or State Register of Historic Places
Bounded by N. 68th St., W. Lloyd St., N. 60th St., and Milwaukee Ave. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Washington Highlands Historic District
Reference Number:89002121
Location (Address):Bounded by N. 68th St., W. Lloyd St., N. 60th St., and Milwaukee Ave.
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.

Period of Significance:1916-1940
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Commerce
Area of Significance:Landscape Architecture
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Domestic: Single Dwelling
Historic Use:Domestic: Multiple Dwelling
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Specialty Store
Historic Use:Landscape: Park
Architectural Style:Colonial Revival
Architectural Style:Tudor Revival
Architectural Style:Mission/Spanish Revival
Resource Type:District
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:12/18/1989
State Register Listing Date:11/02/1989
Number of Contributing Buildings:319
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:4
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:4
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

National Register of Historic Places Citation
National Register of Historic Places, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the National Register listing you were looking for or have other questions about the National Register, please email us and we can help: