Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Coolidge Street-Myrtle Street Historic District in Madison, Dane County on the State Register of Historic Places on May 18, 2018.
This neighborhood is unique, being composed of prefabricated homes from two distinct eras of construction by different companies: the Gordon-Van Tine Co. in 1943 or by the Harnischfeger Corporation in 1946-47. This neighborhood tells the story of Madison’s efforts to solve the defense housing crisis caused by World War II, and the veterans housing crisis that followed the end of the war. In Madison, as in most communities, the municipal government’s efforts to solve the defense housing crisis consisted primarily of smoothing the way for private developers who wanted to create new housing.
What was created on Myrtle and Coolidge streets to solve the short-term defense workers housing crisis has been of lasting value to the Madison community and to the Eken Park neighborhood in particular; this district is the earliest installment of the first wave of the housing boom that was to transform Madison and much of the rest of the nation after the war ended.
The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.