Greendale Historical Society

Preserving appreciation of Greendale, Wisconsin, one of only three American Greenbelt communities.

About

Greendale’s history is rich with vital community spaces. However, many of those valuable assets have been lost. The original Community Building is now the Middle School. The old “scout shack” was razed. The Mall area near the Alonzo Hauser Flagpole was divided for a parking lot and it is now largely underused.

Today, community groups meet in a windowless room in the basement of the Public Library. Based on community feedback and input, the Greendale Historical Society believes that readaption of the Hose Tower building will restore and fill the need for a community gathering space in our Village center.

The Historical Society is seeking partners — residents, local elected and government officials, community and business leaders — to work together on this project. We believe in a shared vision and effort to help preserve Greendale’s special sense of community for future generations.

The Historical Society is committed to a readaptation of the Hose Tower and Grounds Building which employs a long-term, sustainable business model. We believe this collaborative, community model best helps ensure longterm success and sustainability. This approach harkens back to the original plans for Greendale in 1936.

Historic properties — like the Hose Tower and Grounds Building —provide substantial links to our past. They contribute to our understanding of the aesthetic, cultural and social values of a particular time period. This is particularly significant for the Village of Greendale.

The Historical Society has completed Phase I of the adaptive restoration of Greendale’s Hose Tower and Grounds Building into a community property designed for use by the residents of Greendale. Phase II of construction began in June of 2013.

Greendale’s planners and founders fostered and designed a special way of life and sense of community that survives nearly 75 years after the original design. It is not on display in a museum — the Village of Greendale is a living museum.

As our community celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2013, we believe there is a community need and responsibility to put this building to good use before another valuable piece of Greendale’s living museum is lost.
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The mission of the Hose Tower Project is to plan, secure funds for and oversee the adaptive restoration of the Historic Greendale Grounds Building and Hose Tower into a Community Center with public restrooms, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces and other facilities for community use.

Overview

The Hose Tower will be a regional destination and will offer community members, organizations and corporations a state-of-the-art event space and meeting room complete with indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. The flexible Layton State Bank Community Room with over 1,500 square feet of will be ideal for meetings, activities, and events of all kinds. The Greendale Historical Society is currently developing a business plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of The Hose Tower facility.

Key Points:
  • The Hose Tower is located in the heart of Greendale’s historic business district adjacent to Canterbury Woods.
  • Safe, easy, convenient drive-up access from the municipal parking lot.
  • The Hose Tower will feature seating for 120 people and conference table seating for up to 60 persons.
  • Catering service will be available from community food-service partners and the Hose Tower will feature a self-catering prep kitchen for smaller events.
  • Nonprofit organizations (501 c 3s) will be able to take advantage of a deeply discounted rates for their own fundraising events or board retreats.
  • Greendale community groups and organizations like the Boy Scouts or Lion’s Club will be able to book the facility at little or no charge.
  • State-of-the-art multi-media equipment.
  • ADA compliant public restroom facilities for community events.
Projected Uses:
  • Community group gatherings
  • Holiday events
  • Recognition and retirement celebrations
  • Family birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and other celebrations
  • Wedding proposals in the Hose Tower
  • Ceremonies and receptions
  • Business functions
  • Corporate gatherings and planning sessions
  • Board meetings
  • Art exhibits and performances

Construction Updates

Iron Man at Work in The Hose Tower

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Volunteer Iron Worker George Mederak cuts the sheet metal to repair the ceiling of the Hose Tower interior.

George Mederak is an “Iron Man” working for many years as a skilled iron worker across the country. Today, he is plying his trade as a volunteer in the renovation of the Historic Hose Tower and is playing a key role in the project by repairing the interior ceiling of the historic building.

Working with heavy sheet metal, Mederak is skillfully matching the original 1939 ceiling which has been damaged over the years. The results are dramatic and his work will ensure that the original industrial look of the building remains intact. Once he completes the repairs, fresh paint will be applied to complete the "retro" look.

“George’s willingness to volunteer his expertise for this project is simply fantastic,” says Historical Society President Ted Mainella.

Mederak lives in the “S” section of Greendale and has two children in the Greendale Schools. He joins numerous other volunteers who are working hard to restore this building for community use.

“I moved to Greendale for the good schools. With the Hose Tower Project, I am happy to give something back to the community," says Mederak.

The newly repaired metal ceiling will remain exposed in the Hose Tower’s Layton State Bank Community Room with over 1,500 square feet and seating up to 120 people.

"The flexible Layton State Bank Community Room of will be ideal for community meetings, activities, and events of all kinds," Mainella says. “The community room will make The Hose Tower perfect for community group gatherings, ceremonies and receptions, business functions and even art exhibits and performances.”

In 2013, the Village of Greendale’s historic district including the old Police and Fire Station and The Hose Tower were formally designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Substantial completion of the interior of the building is planned for Village Days in August 2013, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Greendale.

For more information, please visit click here.

Our Team

Actress and Greendale native Jane Kaczmarek serves as an honorary fundraising chairwoman for the project and the following local businesses and professionals have volunteered to donate their time and expertise to our project.
  • Jack Reichl, Reichl Construction Co • Project Construction Manager
  • Jane Kerwin, Kerwin Builders LTD • Kitchen Design/Build
  • Josh Neudorfer The Sigma Group • Engineering Environmental Consultant
  • Lee Paulus • Structural Engineer Consultant
  • Bob Prindiville • Architect/Consultant
  • Al Emmons • Creative Construction/Interior Finish
  • Chris Pegelow • Northern Restoration Solutions/Brick Restoration
  • Josh Hunt, Rob Hunt • Frank-dale Roof and Chimney/Roof Installation
  • George Mederak • Metal Fabrication and Restoration
  • John Flejter, Bricklayer and Mason
  • Al Sikorski • Bradley Corporation, Plumbing Fixtures

Join Our Team!


We need you. Use the form below to send us an email about joining the Hose Tower Preservation team, or call us at (414) 423-7064 for more information.

History

The History of the Hose Tower and Annex Building

To serve the new community, the Village constructed a building that served as the original Police Station, Fire Station and Municipal Court (6600 Schoolway), as well as the Annex located behind the building in the Municipal Parking Lot that served as the Hose Tower for the Fire Department to dry their hoses and provide additional storage for other municipal equipment.

In 1972, the Fire Department moved to its own Station located at 6200 W. Loomis Road. The Old Police Station continued to house the Police Department and Municipal Court until 1998 when the Village constructed the new Safety Center at 5911 W. Grange Avenue. The Annex has remained in used by the Village and Village Community organizations for storage.

Since 1998 and the move to the Safety Center, the Old Police Station has remained vacant.

Donate

We are almost there!

Help Us Reach Our Goal52%
$600,000
You can help save the Historic Hose Tower. Consider a tax-deducible donation to Legacy and Vision Fund and help readapt the hose tower into a community center for the Village of Greendale.

FAQs

The Hose Tower: Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

  • Who owns The Hose Tower?
    The Village of Greendale owns the building and will continue own it once the project is completed.
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  • Does the Greendale Historical Society have a lease with the Village?
    No. In fact, the Greendale Historical Society has never had a lease with the Village for The Hose Tower and/or the original Fire and Police Station.
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  • What is the formal arrangement between the Village and the Greendale Historical Society?
    The Society and the Village currently have a formal “letter of understanding” signed in September of 2011. This letter spells out that the Village will own and maintain the Hose Tower, that the Society will lead in the fund raising, design, planning, and construction and may enter into contracts to complete the project, among other things.
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  • Is The Hose Tower a historic building?
    Yes. In 2013, the Village of Greendale’s historic district including The Hose Tower were formally designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is one of three public buildings deemed a contributing factor in Greendale’s Historic National Landmark designation by the federal government. The other two are the original Fire and Police Station and Village Hall.
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  • What will The Hose Tower be used for?
    The flexible Layton State Bank Community Room will be ideal for community meetings, activities, and events of all kinds. The community room will make The Hose Tower perfect for community group gatherings, ceremonies and receptions, business functions and even art exhibits and performances.
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  • How will The Hose Tower impact the downtown business district?
    The Hose Tower will be returned to public use as a community gathering place with both indoor and outdoor meeting space. Its location in the heart of Greendale’s historic business district adjacent to Canterbury Woods with safe, easy and convenient drive-up access from the municipal parking lot will serve as an important focal point, connecting the Parking Street area to Broad Street.
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  • Who can use The Hose Tower?
    Any community group, organization, business, families and much more. Non-profit organizations (501 c 3s) will be able to take advantage of a deeply discounted rates for their own fundraising events or board retreats. Greendale community groups and organizations like the Boy Scouts or Lion’s Club will be able to book the facility at little or no charge.
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  • How many people can the meeting room accommodate?
    For meetings the is seating for 120 persons. Other functions such as conferences or dinners there is seating for approximately 75 persons.
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  • When will the building be finished?
    Substantial interior completion is planned for August 2013. Final completion date is dependent on fundraising efforts.
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  • How much money has been raised so far?
    The Greendale Historical Society has raised over $320,000 to date and an estimated $60,000 from in-kind donations of services and materials. About $280,000 is still needed to fully complete the project.
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  • Will the restrooms be open to the public?
    Yes. The Hose will have ADA compliant public restroom facilities for community events.
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  • Can food and drink be served in the Hose Tower?
    Catering service will be available from community food-service partners and the Hose Tower will feature a self-catering prep kitchen for smaller events.
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Our Mission

The mission of the Greendale Historical Society is to preserve and foster appreciation of Greendale, Wisconsin, one of only three American Greenbelt communities.

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