The Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation is a statewide, non-profit, member-supported organization founded in 1986. Our mission is to promote the cultural and economic value of historic places in our state, and advocate for policies that encourage and enable their conservation. 

WTHP Board of Directors meeting with staff from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.   L-R - Matt Jarosz, Sarah Zaske, Annemarie Sawkins, Jason Tish, Anna-Marie Opgenorth, Nancy Finegood, Mark Ernst, Gene Hackbarth, Janet Kreger.

Our vision for Wisconsin is a full appreciation of the cultural value of historic buildings and places alongside their economic value, the promotion of careful stewardship and active use of historic places, wide recognition of the economic and social benefits of preservation. We envision Wisconsin communities where preservation, adaptive reuse, and new development complement and reinforce thriving downtowns, healthy neighborhoods, and historic places.

We advocate for local, state, and federal policies that enable and encourage the identification and continued use of historic places in Wisconsin communities.

We support local organizations in Wisconsin communities who advocate for the preservation of their historic places and for local policies that encourage their conservation.  


All Wisconsin communities have Places that Matter - Places at the heart of the community that tell residents something about the people who settled there, worked there, and built the town, about what their town was like a century or two ago, or about a period that changed the community. These places can be buildings, historic sites, town squares, factory complexes, old downtowns, and historic districts that are associated with the history and heritage that are at the souls of our communities. We believe it's important for communities to recognize these places, and take steps to maintain their presence so they can say something about the heritage of their communities to future generations. 

We believe that the preservation of historic buildings is good for the global environment. Reusing existing buildings uses less energy and fewer resources than mining and refining raw materials, manufacturing building materials, transporting them to a building site, and constructing a new building. 

We believe that preservation of historic places is good for communities. Communities that preserve their historic and cultural places can cultivate a unique identity that can attract visitors, businesses, and residents. 

We believe that preservation is good for local economies, and local jobs. Heritage tourism is big business in Wisconsin. Communities that can show off their culture and their heritage will attract visitors, reward them for visiting, and give them reasons to stay longer. Also, rehabilitation of historic buildings is more labor-intensive than material-intensive. Often the specialized labor needed to work on old buildings can be found within the community or in nearby communities. 

City Hall Auditorium - Columbus, Wisconsin

Board of Directors

Jason Tish (Madison) - President
Jason has worked with preservation laws and policies since 1996. He served as Executive Director of the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation from 2009 to 2014. He works as a consultant on historic tax credit programs.

Charles Williams (Oshkosh) - Treasurer
Chuck is an attorney in Oshkosh involved in historic preservation. He has served on the WTHP Board of Directors since 1994. 

Matt Jarosz (Milwaukee)
Matt is an Associate Professor in UW-Milwaukee's School of Architecture and Urban Planning. He teaches historic preservation principles and the history of building technology.

Eugene Hackbarth (DePere)
Gene Hackbarth has worked for downtown economic development through historic  preservation in Wisconsin since 1990. He serves on the Board of Wisconsin Association of Historic Preservation Commissions and the De Pere Historic Preservation Commission.

Anna-Marie Opgenorth (Milwaukee) - Vice President
Anna-Marie is the Community Outreach and Development Associate at Mandel Group, an integrated real estate services firm, and serves on the City of Milwaukee's Historic Preservation Commission.  Anna-Marie served as Executive Director of Historic Milwaukee, Inc. from 2007 to 2013.

Annemarie Sawkins, Ph.D. (Shorewood) - Secretary
Annemarie is an art and architecture historian who has taught guide-training classes for Historic Milwaukee, Inc. and provided tours of Milwaukee's historic neighborhoods.

Thomas H. Mudrovich (Wausau)
Tom is the principal and owner of Mudrovich Architects in Wausau.  He was a member of the Wausau Historic Preservation Commission prior to joining the Board of Directors of WTHP in 2003.

Mark Ernst (Milwaukee) - Past President
Mark is an architect with Engberg Anderson in Milwaukee, WI, working on new construction and rehabilitation projects. He served president of WHTP from 2003 to 2014.