Historic Preservation Commission

The New Glarus Historic Preservation Commission is a standing commission of the Village of New Glarus. A local commission is required by state law if the governmental unit has a property within their jurisdiction listed in the national or state Registers of Historic Places.  It also oversees properties listed in the local landmark program.


Historic Preservation Commissions typically consist of seven members who serve staggered terms.

  • Chairperson
  • Governmental body member (in NG this is also the chairperson)
  • Architect
  • Realtor
  • Historian
  • 2-3 citizen members

The Preservation Commission typically meets once each month. The commission's duty is to:

  1. Work with property owners reviewing modifications and/or changes to local, state and national landmark properties within its jurisdiction
  2. Seek out potential local landmarks
  3. Act in an advisory capacity to citizens seeking historic status for their properties
  4. Provide necessary assistance and guidance in filling required documents. This procedure assures both parties that everything is done in the correct and most efficient manner to further historic preservation efforts within the community.

Historic Landmark Designation

Landmark designation is granted by the Village of New Glarus Historic Preservation Commission.  A historic structure, site, or district can include any site, natural or improved, including any building, improvement, or structure located on a property, or any area of particular historic, architectural, archaeological, or cultural significance to the Village of New Glarus.  

To be designated as an official historic landmark, the property should meet one of these five criteria:

  • It should exemplify the broad cultural, political, economic or social history of the nation, state or community;
  • It should be identified with an important historic person or with important events in national, state or local history;
  • It should embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type or specimen valuable for study of a period, style, method of construction, or of indigenous materials or craftsmanship;
  • It should be representative of the notable work of a master builder, designer or architect who influenced his or her age; or
  • It should have yielded or be likely to yield important information to prehistory or history.

If you have a property you think might qualify for historic landmark designation, pick up a Landmark Designation Packet prepared by the Historic Preservation Commission at the Village Clerk’s Office. You may also download the packet below. The packet includes a Landmark Nomination form and guidelines.

Landmark Designation Packet

Historic Landmarks of the Village of New Glarus

If you have questions or need help with completing a Landmark Nomination, please contact the Village Clerk’s office at 608-527-2510, and they will have someone from the Historic Preservation Commission contact you to assist you.

Benefits of Landmark Designation and Certificate of Appropriateness

Once a property has been designated as a Village of New Glarus historic landmark, the Commission must issue a certificate of appropriateness prior to the property owner reconstructing, altering, improving, or demolishing all or any part of the of the property.  Ordinary maintenance and repairs require no certificate of appropriateness, provided they require no building permit. This rarely applies to any changes to the interior of the property.  The process documents changes to the building.  The Commission may request to photograph the landmark prior to and after any changes to maintain a record of the history of the building.  An application for Certificate of Appropriateness can be obtain from the Village Clerk’s Office or downloaded HERE.

Historic Tax Credit Program

On March 6, 2016, the Village's Historic Preservation Committee and Community Development Authority jointly hosted an informational workshop on the Federal and State Historic Tax Credit program that exists for individually historic properties and properties located within a designated Historic District.  The State of Wisconsin and the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit programs each provide a twenty percent (20%) return of the cost of rehabilitating historic properties in the form of tax credits to the owners.  The Village is exploring the possibility of creating residential and commercial Historic Districts to provide property owners of historic properties with access to these State and Federal Historic Tax Credit programs. 


For additional resources on the Historic Tax Credit programs, please see:

Resources from the March 6, 2016 Village Workshop:

Presentation from Joe DeRose - Wisconsin Historical Society

Presentation from Carol Cartwright on Potential New Glarus Historic Properties

Map of Potential Residential Historic District on 1st and 2nd Streets

Map of Potential Commercial Historic District on 2nd Street

 Additional Historic Tax Credit Program Resources:

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Fact Sheet on Historic Tax Credit Program

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Information on Historic Tax Credit Program

Wisconsin Historical Society Brochure on Historic Tax Credit Program

Wisconsin Historical Society Historic Tax Credit Website


2015 Architectural and Historical Survey

In 2015, the New Glarus Historic Preservation Commission was fortunate to receive a grant through the Wisconsin Historical Society to hire Carol Cartwright, Historic Preservation Consultant, to perform an Architectural and Historical Survey of the Village of New Glarus.  The goal of the survey, funded by the National Park Service, was to photograph and research the architecture of the Village to identify structures and districts eligible for the National Registry of Historic Places.  Structures eligible for the National Registry must be at least 50 years old, have historical integrity, and have historical significance.  The survey identified twelve individual properties potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and two districts potentially eligible for the National Register Historic Districts.  Properties found to have these characteristics will be added to the State Historical Society's list of historically significant properties.  A copy of the survey can be viewed HERE (This is a large document and will take a few minutes to load).

Copies are also available for viewing at the New Glarus Public Library.  For questions about the survey contact the Village Clerk’s office.

For more information about Historic Preservation in Wisconsin:

Please see https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/

For questions on how to apply for a Historic Designation for your property, contact the Village Clerk's office at 608-527-2510, and they will have someone from the Historic Preservation Commission contact you.



New Glarus was established as a Swiss Colony in 1845 and incorporated as a Village in 1901. The Village has retained its Swiss charm with Alpine-style architecture, ethnic festivals and Swiss delicacies. The Village is located in beautiful Green County in south central Wisconsin. We are just 28 miles south of Madison and 17 miles north of Monroe on State Highway 69.


  319 2nd Street
    PO Box 399
    New Glarus, WI 53574

(608) 527-2510

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Closed