By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 07, 2022 at 11:27 AM

On Monday, the City of Milwaukee’s Historic Preservation Commission will consider a plan by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church to raze its 1948 parish hall and replace it with a new one, as well as add a four-story apartment building on a grassy lot to the north of the church at 2618 N. Hackett Ave.

The plan requires HPC approval because the site is located within the Downer Avenue Commercial Historic District.


According to the church’s June 13 application for approval for the project, “St. Mark’s is burdened with an addition that does not adequately serve its current and future needs. It is too big for their parish population, needs extensive façade repairs, has inefficient mechanical systems, and lacks ADA compliant accessibility.

“We are proposing demolishing the mid-century portion of the 1948 addition to construct a smaller, more efficient structure and accessible structure that will serve the needs of the parish for years to come. We propose to carefully preserve the original 1911 building and garden, as well as the 1949 cloister walks identified in the Historic District Designation Report.”

The church’s application says that the apartment building will pay for the project.


“To facilitate the proposed addition to St. Mark’s, the Church will need to sell a portion of their existing site; a portion 200 feet from their northern property line for a total site of approximately 30,000 SF.”

The proposed H-shaped building would contain 55 apartments, including eight studios, 17 one-bedroom and 30 two-bedroom units. The building would also include 55 underground parking spots that would share a driveway with the church.

The proposed new parish hall and apartment building were designed by Milwaukee’s HGA Architects.

The commission has received numerous comments – both supporting and opposing the plan – which can be seen, along with other related documents, here.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 11 at 3 p.m. in City Hall Room 301-B.

(UPDATE: Both the HPC and, on Aug. 22, the City Plan Commission approved this plan.)


Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.