New walking tour showcases Soldier's Home restoration

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Dozens of people came out for the renewed walking tour of the Milwaukee Soldier's Home to start off their Memorial Day weekend.

Tours of the Milwaukee Soldier's Home will be available all summer long by appointment or via the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance's newly-updated app.

Jeremy Ebersole, Milwaukee Preservation Alliance [MPA] Executive Director, spoke to the history of the buildings.

"Old Main behind us, it's the most significant, the largest building here on the historic soldier's home campus, was placed at the highest location on the grounds here and completed in 1869," said Ebersole, referencing the large cream brick building.

He was one of the guides on the walking tour Saturday, May 28, showing off the restoration of Old Main, a veteran dorm MPA Board President Peter Zanghi said took a lot of effort.

"A lot of collaboration between many organizations, individuals, over the course of over a decade," said Zanghi.

He said it took collaboration from the VA, as well as developers, investors and other preservationists.

"They went as far as finding the original quarry in Vermont, where the slate for the original roof was originally mined, and used that same quarry to restore the slate roof," said Zanghi.

"All of the work that we've done to ensure the restoration here is to make sure that these buildings stay in service to veterans," said Ebersole.

80 veterans at risk of homelessness and their families now live in Old Main.

Ebersole said MPA is still working on restoring the other buildings on the walking tour, the chapel, the theatre and the governors mansion.

"To determine feasible new uses for these buildings in the hope that we can see the same success we saw here at Old Main," said Ebersole.

If you're interested in scheduling a tour, or donating to restoration causes, tou can go to MPA's website by clicking here.

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