Waukesha County

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Help Waukesha County Preserve the Moor Downs Property the Right Way

Dear County Resident,

You may be aware of an ongoing dispute between the City of Waukesha Landmarks Commission and Waukesha County regarding the site of the former Health and Human Services building, also known as the Moor Mud Baths. This web page is intended to provide you with accurate information about the current state of the building, its cost to taxpayers, and how Waukesha County intends to properly and safely preserve the site’s historic contributions.

The unfortunate fact is that the former HHS building is a safety hazard and a drain on taxpayer resources. Although Waukesha County has undertaken efforts to sell the building, no entity has been willing to invest money into renovating it and pay the taxpayer fair market value for the property. Waukesha County is unable to remove the vacant, unsafe structure because of a historic designation placed on the entire Moor Downs property in 2001. Millions of taxpayer dollars are at risk if the City of Waukesha Common Council does not support the County’s request to raze the building at its February 11 meeting.

Waukesha County is proud of local history and wishes to preserve it. Historians agree that nothing of historic value inside the former HHS building remains; instead they wish to preserve the footprint of the property. The county has reached an agreement with the Wisconsin State Historical Society that outlines the best way to honor that historical narrative while allowing the county to remove the dangerous structure.

Please urge the City Council to remember their stance when faced with this same issue back in 2014. When the Landmarks Commission designated one of the city’s own properties as historic (the Les Hall Performance Center band shell in Cutler Park) council members voted no, 10-2, stating that the property had been altered too much to warrant a designation. Your support will save millions in taxpayer dollars while preserving history.

Stop the unnecessary bleeding of your taxpayer dollars and contact City of Waukesha Elected Officials. You can find their information at waukesha-wi.gov/158/Common-Council.

Sincerely, 

Paul Farrow

Waukesha County Executive