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Sidewalk medallions will make note of historic Bay homes

Jan. 7, 2009

Medallions will start appearing in sidewalks in front of Whitefish Bay homes that are architecturally unique or have a historic interest.

The Village Board on Jan. 5 approved purchasing the medallions, which will be installed as deteriorated sidewalk slabs are replaced this year. The Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation has donated $2,500 for the project; there is no cost expected for the village. As always, homeowners pay for sidewalk slab replacement.

The medallion project was proposed by the Whitefish Bay Historic Preservation Commission. The number on each medallion will key to a Web site link and brochures with information on the home, commission chairman Jefferson Aikin said. The medallions also will state the year the home was built.

Participation in the medallion project will be completely voluntary and no cost to the landowner, he said. The 8-inch bronze medallions will be inlaid into sidewalks, so snow removal on walks will not be affected and pedestrians will not trip on them, Aikin said.

Foundation funding will pay for 25 medallions this year. If money is left over, it might be used to replace slabs that do not need replacement, where historic recognition would be desirable, Village Manager James Grassman said.

The first medallions will appear in front of homes in the southeast section of the villagewhere sidewalk replacement efforts will be focused this year.

Twenty-five properties will receive medallions, Aikin said. Five of those are already on the National Register of Historic Places, three are Milwaukee County landmarks, one has a Whitefish Bay historic designation and some others are eligible for historic designation, Aikin said.

Next year, a different section of the village will get medallions as the village progresses on its five-year rotation of sidewalk replacements, Aikin said.

The medallions are being inserted as slabs are replaced to save $75. Aikin said the cost is $125 to replace the entire slab, inserting the medallion in it, and about $200 to insert a medallion into an existing slab.

Jane Ford-Stewart can be reached at (262) 446-6607.

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