Hales Corners to help mitigate move of Bosch Tavern on Highway 100

Published on: 3/17/2014

Hales Corners — The board of trustees approved the village president to sign the state's memorandum of agreement as a concurring signatory last week to help mitigate the historic Bosch Tavern's movement west on Highway 100 next year.

As a concurring party, Hales Corners will stay involved as the state's Department of Transportation purchases the Bosch, 5871 S. 108th St., from its owner, Rick Putlitz, and moves it from its original location without damaging its historical significance in the community.

The DOT has acquired verbal agreements from other involved parties to sign the memorandum and is hoping to collect all signatures in 30 days. Parties involved include the Federal Highway Administration, the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office and the State Historic Preservation Offices. The purchase is on-going, according to the DOT, and dependent upon the agreement being fully signed.

As outlined in the MOA, the state's first choice is to move the Bosch to the next property west of the tavern, Ritzman Appliances. Demolition of the appliance shop is expected to take place in the next six months, according to Vida Shaffer, project manager for the DOT. Then Putlitz can execute his moving plan.

"What came out of the (public meetings and hearings) is that the tavern is very important to the community: the look of it, the history of it and the whole part of it being called 'Hales Corners' and wanting that building on the new corner," Shaffer said.

The DOT presented its plans for the reconstruction of Highway 100's two-mile stretch between College and Layton Avenues in 2009. The plans would relocate several buildings near Janesville Road, including the Bosch, and widen the highway in some places. According to a DOT project plan, the stretch's crash rates are higher than the state average, and traffic is expected to grow by 50 percent to 150 percent along most of the corridor if no improvements are made.

The Bosch is a 1904 Victorian building that existed when the first street car came through Hales Corners and is the last building that represents that historical time period in the village, Shaffer said.

The state is required to do mitigation of historic properties, said Michael Weber, village administrator, clerk and treasurer.

The Bosch is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but its historical status will be evaluated after the move, Shaffer said. The value of the building has also been appraised, but the values will not be disclosed until the acquisition is finalized.

"We have a lot to do before it gets constructed," Shaffer said.

Putlitz could not be reached to comment in time for deadline.