Giving a historical building new life

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 2:52 PM CST
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ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WBAY) - A historical building in Allouez is about to undergo a transformation.

A local real estate company has purchased the former Allouez Community Center and renovations are set to begin. The blueprints are ready and the vision is clear.

Ben Bartolazzi and his brother Dirk took ownership of the Allouez Community Center along Webster Avenue last month.

Rarely used in recent years, it had served as the town hall and water department dating back to 1947.

And because it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Bartolazzis remodeling plans must follow distinct rules and regulations.

“Preserving the history of the building, but also making it more useable space, so that way people can enjoy it, where half of the building was used for storage, so we want it to just come back to life,” says Ben Bartolazzi, owner of Bartolazzi Real Estate.

“It’ll definitely be challenging because we’re trying to make a historical building using modern product so you have to implement different practices that we’re typically used to doing, we’re in the residential construction industry which is a little different than a building like this, so we’re definitely going to have to think outside the box and get creative with a few of the areas,” adds Dirk Bartolazzi, owner of Bartolazzi Homes.

One example is turning the building’s vault into a small conference room.

By summer, Bartolazzi Real Estate and Bartolazzi Homes hope to have a new home, and one community members can be proud of.

“Maybe there will be some people that come in that will have been here in the past and just to see what we did with the place and it’ll be nice to hear the comments or remarks that we get from that,” says Dirk Bartolazzi.

The Village of Allouez says the sale of the community center is just part of its vision for corridor redevelopment along Webster Avenue.

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