The formal dedication of six buildings on the Milwaukee Soldiers Home campus on Thursday served as a monumental milestone marking the completion of a complex, decade-long preservation and rehabilitation project.

“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 developer The Alexander Co. “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.”

Established in 1867 following the Civil War, the property on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center is one of three original Soldiers Homes in the country, with some of the oldest and most historic buildings in the Veterans Affairs system. It is one of only 43 National Historic Landmarks in Wisconsin.

“It is wonderful to see these buildings so loving restored and returned to their original mission,” Milwaukee VA Deputy Director Jim McLain said.

The Alexander Co., based in Madison, and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee partnered on the historic preservation and adaptive reuse project.

“I honestly cannot think of a more extraordinary and meaningful historic preservation project in this community in the last generation,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “It is fitting that we not only have an incredible historic preservation project here, but we have a living tribute to veterans. Providing decent housing and wrap-around care for veterans is something all of us are committed to.”

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This article was originally published by Milwaukee Magazine.