Greendale group gets approval for addition

Published on: 4/21/2014

Greendale — The Greendale Historical Society is one step closer to renovating the Hose Tower after the plan commission granted conceptual approval for an additional annex building April 9.

The society requested conceptual approval of an addition to the Hose Tower in August, but the item was tabled by the commission to allow for additional information to be presented.

The 24-by-24-foot structure would be built along the tower, located at 5650 Parking Street, on its southwest corner.

The addition would serve as a supply area for the hose tower, which will be used as a community center once renovation is complete, said Greendale Historical Society President Ted Mainella.

'We have developed a long-term concept for the tower … but we are submitting plans in stages,' Mainella said. 'The annex building is crucial because once the main building is a community center, we will need to be able to remove chairs and tables to make for a banquet area.'

In addition, the annex will 'blend in with the tower, but will not detract or imitate its original style,' he said.

The addition to the tower's southwest corner will not adversely affect the village's National Historic Landmark status, according to a letter from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

'It's pretty much considered by most that this addition of a storage area is in the most logical place it will ever be and that it is a needed addition at some point,' said Village President John Hermes at the plan commission meeting.

Before construction can begin, however, the historical society must have the necessary funds to make it happen.

'The village will certainly be looking toward the historical society having full funding ready before construction does begin and final conceptual approval can begin,' Hermes said.

Although a total cost estimate for the annex building was unavailable, Mainella said the historical society has raised more than $320,000 for the hose tower project and is continuing to raise more.

The village board of trustees issued conceptual approval for the project April 15 in a 6-1 vote. Trustee Carl Genz opposed the motion.

For more information about the project, call the Greendale Historical Society at (414) 423-7064 or visit