Waukesha County

Inside the former Waukesha County Health and Human Services Building

When learning that the Moor Downs property is the site of the former Grandview Health Resort, many people assume that if they were to enter the property they would find rich, historic charm and details. The unfortunate fact is that the building has been renovated and repurposed so many times since 1911 that the interior has been completely gutted. Historians agree that nothing historic remains inside the building.

Waukesha County wants to preserve the legacy of the Moor Downs property to the fullest extent possible. However, maintaining an empty building that contains no relevant historic architecture is not the best way to do this. In order to show residents what the building actually contains, we are sharing this collection of photos to demonstrate what really exists inside the structure. 

Main Entrance

When you step inside the entrance of the former HHS building, you are greeted with the former office's reception area. All original woodwork, trim, flooring, light fixtures, counters and other details original to the building were gutted and removed when the building was sold in 1950 to be turned into a college, and then an office building in 1972. 

Even the staircase and its rails are not what is pictured in post cards of the building. The original decorative wood handrails were removed.

Hotel Rooms

The rooms that once served hotel guests have been updated to include modern heating, plumbing, drop ceilings, and commercial carpeting in order to accomodate college students and later office workers. The historic turn-of-the-century details that once made these rooms fit for resort guests are gone. For example, the rooms that once served as bathrooms were gutted to be used as closets, and retiled with materials from the 1950s. Even the doors to the rooms were altered for ventilation grates.

The Mud Rooms

All of the areas that once served guests receiving mud baths have been stripped of historically relevant characteristics, like the mud tubs themselves and decorative elements. Most of these areas no long exist in any recognizeable form. In other areas, like the room pictured below, the floor was mudded over or replaced with new flooring. Even the tiles on the walls were removed or painted over. 

Even the large room that stored the mud was refurbished to serve as a filing area.