Neighborhood historic district topic of meeting next week

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BELOIT - A proposed historic district in Beloit will soon be considered for nomination to the National and State Registers of Historic Places, with a meeting set next week on the effort.

The district, proposed as the Milwaukee and Emerson Residential Historic District, encompasses properties primarily along Chapin Street, Emerson Street, Milwaukee Road, Oakwood Avenue, and Sherwood Drive.

On April 30, a Wisconsin Historical Society presentation will be presented on the National Register program, followed by a presentation about the district's architecture and history by Rowan Davidson of Legacy Architecture. The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. in the City Hall forum, 100 State St.

The effort started in 2015 following a survey of the area and polling of residents, with one of the primary reasons relating to a wealth of homes built between 1868 and 1969 based from the Queen Anne, Ranch, Prairie, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival and Dutch Colonial Revival architecture styles.

At a public meeting in November of 2016, officials briefed residents on what to expect if the designation moves forward, dispelling myths of historic districts such as listed properties in the district would be open to the public, and that homeowners cannot paint their homes or make other changes. Homeowners will still be able to make interior remodels like kitchen and bathroom projects and add air conditioning, electrical work and reuse buildings for alternate uses as long as the project was not tied to federal or state funding, licenses or permits were involved.

According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, in order for the district to be established as historic, it must possess "a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development."

Some homes in the district will be able to receive state and federal tax credits, if approved. Income-producing homes can net tax credits of 20 percent for both federal and state credits. A 25 percent credit is also available to non-income producing properties that's tied to a certain level of renovation being done to a home to qualify for the credit in a given tax year.

Peggy Veregin of the Wisconsin Historical Society and Beloit Building and Planning Services Director Drew Pennington could not be reached for comment Monday.

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