While the City of Madison has 182 landmarks and five local historic districts, landmarks important to underrepresented communities are often neglected by the city.
To fix this, the city is working to create the Historic Preservation Plan to protect these landmarks through interactions with the communities in these underrepresented areas.
City preservation planner, Amy Scanlon said the city needs to reflect its collective history and “look at cultural issues.”
“[The city] has not done a good job identifying and preserving places and buildings associated with underrepresented communities and we need our preservation efforts to reflect our collective history,” Scanlon said.
While the city is looking for historic information on all groups, they are focusing specifically on Native American, African American, Latino/Hispanic, Hmong and women, Scanlon said.
The project is expected to take two years and has two main components: to review outdated ordinances and to construct a plan that represents the priorities of the community.
The first part of the plan is to review and revise the relevance of the ordinances, according to the Historic Preservation Plan. Some of these ordinances are over 40 years old.
“Since 1970, the city’s preservation program has been largely regulatory,” Scanlon said.
The second part of the plan will include heavy community involvement, according to the plan. The city hopes to “engage, educate and connect” with groups from around the city.
To reach the community, the planning committee is looking for “non-traditional” ways to interact with the community rather than typical meetings, Scanlon said. The team is still looking for ways to interact with the community and is currently encouraging people who are interested to sign up for email notifications on their website.
“We are looking for effective ways to engage people, but we want to be responsive to what people are telling us,” Scanlon said.