Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
Email Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though it could've been advertised a little better, I felt that last weekend's historic homes and springs open houses were well-attended. It's been upwards of five years since the last Historic Weekend, so I jumped at the chance to tour a few restored homes and buildings around Waukesha and maybe learn more about our history.
Two full pages of events and open houses spread over two days offered me the chance to see for the first time 100+ year old homes, buildings and springs. It's obvious that hosting Historic Preservation Events like this one generates interest and appreciation in the community.
Other years I've done walking tours of Downtown and McCall Street, toured New Tribes and a few other historic homes. This time I entered four homes, four Carroll buildings and a spring I'd never seen before. We listened as unique features were pointed out, original owners were described and restoration challenges were outlined. The homeowners patiently answered our questions and made us feel welcome as invited guests in their homes.
I knew the recent Nelson House history of being saved from demolition, first via library expansion and later by fire, but never appreciated it as much as now that I've toured it. Jennifer Wall and Vic Markulis did a remarkable restoration job - twice! - once before and then after the fire.
The most beautiful home I've passed by hundreds of times without noticing is right across Grand Ave. from the Nelson House - The Andrew Frame House. It's absolutely gorgeous with huge heavy oak doors, marble coal fireplaces, tons of original woodwork and an amazing spiral staircase. With the original beautifully-restored carriage house close by it took me back a hundred years.