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Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation Frequently Asked Questions

What is Marshfield's Historic Register?

It is a listing of property that has historical significance. This significance can be based on its architectural standards. It also can be based on the significance of a former resident, the designer or builder.

Being listed on the city’s register does not automatically confer listing on the state or national registers.  State and national listings can provide tax incentives to property owners who list their home or business.

What does it mean to list my property on Marshfield's Historic Register?

Listing your home or business helps preserve our heritage.  Once listed, changes to the exterior of the property must be approved by the city’s Historic Preservation Committee through a certificate of appropriateness. Through this process the committee will help you choose improvements that are in keeping with the historic nature of your property.

Does the committee have to approve changes to the inside of historic properties?

No, the committee only reviews changes to the building exterior.

How do I list my property?

Complete an application and submit it to the city's Department of Planning & Economic Development. The Historic Preservation Committee will consider the application at its next meeting. If it is approved, the City Plan Commission and Common Council will consider the application.

Under Marshfield’s Municipal Code, Section 18-131, to be designated as “historic” the structure, site or district should:

  • Exemplify or reflect the broad cultural, political, economic or social history of the nation, state, or community;
  • Be identified with historic persons or with important events in national, state, or Marshfield history;
  • Embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type or period, style, method of construction or of indigenous materials or craftsmanship; or
  • Be representative of the notable work of a master builder, designer or architect whose work was influential.

Can I change my mind?

Once a property is listed, you may apply to have it removed from the register if you find it is a hardship to follow the rules of the listing. Many people find that there are benefits to owning a historic property. For properties on Marshfield’s Historic Register, these benefits include improved resale value, protection of property investment and eligibility for plaques and markers.  State and national listing may confer additional benefits including eligibility for state & federal income tax credits for rehabilitating historic properties; eligibility to use the state’s Historic Building Code; property tax exemption; assistance with meeting ADA requirements; and other technical assistance.

How do I get started?

For research into the historic value of your property, the public library, your property deed and the North Wood County Historical Society can provide a good start.

Contact the Department of Planning and Economic Development at the city of Marshfield at 715-486-2075 for an application. They can connect you with a member of the Historic Preservation Committee. The Planning and Economic Development link on the city’s Web site (ci.marshfield.wi.us) also has information to help you get started.
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