From the beginning, this country showed concern for the housing of its veterans: the first national veterans’ home in the United States was the United States Naval Home, approved in 1811, but not opened until 1834 in the Philadelphia Naval Yard. Things picked up after the Civil War, and by 1933, there were 17 federally-managed veterans’ homes. 43 states managed 55 functioning state veterans’ homes before 1933; 14 of those states also had a federal veterans’ home open at the same time.

Established in 1867, the Milwaukee Soldiers Home is one of three original Soldiers Homes in the country, with some of the oldest and most historic buildings in the VA system. It is one of only 43 National Historic Landmarks in Wisconsin and one of Wisconsin’s most historic assets. However, more than 30 years ago, after years of housing veterans, buildings on the campus were vacated and subsequently fell into disrepair.

Now, six buildings are restored and returned to the service of veterans. The monumental milestone marks the completion of a complex, decade-long preservation and rehabilitation project achieved through the collaboration of organizations nationwide.

“This incredible preservation success demonstrates the benefits of historic restoration and what can be achieved through a successful public-private partnership,” said Joe Alexander, President of the Alexander Company, via a published press release. “It serves as proof that strategic partnerships, visionary leadership, and creative funding cannot just save buildings, but tackle homelessness, ignite a community, and serve as a national model.”

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, the Alexander Company is a real estate development firm with nearly 40 years’ experience specializing in urban infill development and historic preservation.

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This article was originally published by Forbes.