Van Brunt Hall at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities is
to be torn down by the spring.
- Three Pillars Senior Living Communities is on track to
tear down the historic Van Brunt Hall by next spring,
leaving the site vacant while it charts its future.
includes complete evacuation and building removal of the former
Masonic Home, which served Masons for decades.
not-for-profit organization and careful stewards of our dollars,
we made the decision to return Van Brunt Hall to its original
buildable condition to ensure the long-term stability of Three
Pillars and to allow for continued advancement of our services
and capabilities,” Three Pillars President and CEO Mark
Strautman said in a press release. “We invest our resources back
into our community and programs and take our responsibility to
our residents, donors, staff and the community very seriously.
Recognizing the liability of the Van Brunt site - due to age,
construction type and market trends - it was determined that
removal of the building is the most viable approach for our
Willard Van Brunt donated his Dousman residence and
established a $200,000 endowment to make a home for Masons and
their families. Van Brunt Hall, the Wisconsin Masonic Home, was
built in 1923 and housed residents until 2006, when they moved
to the Compass Point living community, according to a history of
president of the Waukesha County Preservation Alliance, said it
is saddening to see the building, designed by Armand Koch, the
architect who designed the Wells Building in Milwaukee and
Milwaukee’s city hall, go.
“This is some
of the finest craftsmanship installed that there is. It’s a
high-quality building. It’s National Register-eligible and it’s
going to be a huge loss for the Dousman area, and for Waukesha
County and for the state of Wisconsin. When that dedication
happened for the Masonic Home out there, Masons from all over
the state came to the dedication and bought into this and helped
build it. This is their history that they are losing.”
that she believes in adaptive reuse of historical buildings, as
it is cost-effective and keeping in line with green ideas to
reuse buildings and materials whenever possible.
Emery also is
involved in the effort to preserve the former county office
building that once was the Moor Mud Baths in Waukesha. Losing
Van Brunt Hall is another step in the county’s moving away from
what made it what it is, she believes.
both going be large losses from our historical fabric and our
identity,” Emery said.
Pillars is preferring to look to the possibilities of the future
even as it removes part of the past. Strautman said the
Wisconsin Historical Society signed off on plans to remove the
specific plans for how the site will be used in the future are
to be determined, we continue to listen to our residents and
their needs as well as the needs of our surrounding community,”
Strautman said. “With our commitment to quality care and
innovative services, we look forward to the opportunities a
buildable site will provide for future needs of our residents
Also contributing: Brian Huber, Enterprise Staff