The former house-style gas station that has graced the corner of East Broadway and Hartwell Avenue is still standing, but not for long.
The Waukesha Family YMCA has received its wrecking permit for the building that had a landmark status for about a year, according to Chris Becker, executive director of the YMCA. The YMCA successfully fought the landmarks designation, which was bestowed on the property in July 2010, months after the YMCA purchased the property.
“It is going to be razed soon, but I do not have a definite time or day yet,” Becker said.
The building will be one of three that will soon be flattened. A house on Hartwell and a house on East Broadway also will be demolished. An orange fence currently sits around the property and some asphalt has been torn up.
Becker said the YMCA is finalizing details with the contractor that will raze the property, so it could be a few more days before the building is torn down.
The building’s landmarks designation was a controversial topic among area preservationists that fought to keep the building standing. The YMCA challenged the landmarks ruling before the Administrative Review Board last year, lost its appeal and found a loophole in the law that could have the landmarks status removed if there was no interested buyer who wanted to maintain the landmark property.
The Landmarks Commission had a tie vote earlier this year when the YMCA requested that the landmarks status be rescinded because the property was not sold. The YMCA was challenging that decision, stating it had operated in good faith in an attempt to sell the property. Some on the Landmarks Commission testified that they felt the YMCA had not done enough to sell the property and that the asking price was too high.
The Administrative Review Board decided Oct. 31 that the YMCA had shown that it had tried to sell the property and that the landmarks status kept it from being sold, overturning the Landmarks Commission’s decision. As a result, the landmark status on the building was rescinded.