Historical/Environmental Consultants

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HRL's Professional Services for Cultural Resource Management:

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The identification, evaluation and interpretation of significant historical resources are important aspects for understanding our nation’s past. After all, those resource provide tangible, three-dimensional links that tie the past to the present–as well as to the future. HRL is very pleased to offer to engineers, planners, local historic preservation commissions and others a wide variety of services designed to facilitate the management and use of our nation’s cultural resources. Our services include the following:


Dating to 1966 and the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act, Congress requires that impacts on significant historical, architectural and archaeological resources be considered for any project with federal involvement (i.e. federally funded, permitted or licensed). This is a multi-step process that involves (1) identifying potentially significant resources; (2) formally evaluating those resources for National Register eligibility; (3) determining if a project will have an adverse effect on the historical character of significant resources; and (4) if an adverse effect is anticipated, then proposing and completing mitigation that either eliminates or minimizes that effect.  Accordingly, HRL’s experienced staff can:

  • Conduct historical resource reconnaissance surveys designed to identify those resources in a project area that may have National Register (Register) potential.

  • Complete formal, property-specific evaluations through which potentially significant properties are determined eligible or not for the Register.

  • Assess the impact a project might have on the historical character of a Register-eligible property and prepare a Determination of No Adverse Effect or a Documentation for Consultation–depending on whether or not an adverse effect is anticipated.

  • Prepare Memorandums of Agreement in which the specific steps to mitigate an adverse effect on a significant property are formally codified.

  • Complete and/or manage all aspects of mitigation implementation, from advertising the availability of historic properties to producing quality Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) documents and museum quality display panels or brochures.

  • Draft 4F documents for those cases where there will be a "taking" from historically significant properties.



    The owners of historic buildings often want them nominated to and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Reasons for listing a building on the Register can vary. One owner may simply want to commemorate his/her structure, while another may want to rehabilitate it, taking advantage of available rehabilitation tax credits. Regardless of the motivation, HRL staff can:

  • Prepare National Register nominations and see them through the Wisconsin Historical Society’s review process.

  • Complete the documentation necessary to qualify properties for rehabilitation tax credits.



    For planning purposes, communities, counties or other governmental agencies are frequently interested in learning about historical resources that might be within their jurisdiction. Through identifying, evaluating and interpreting these resources, the past can be more easily understood by those in the present. Or the resources, when preserved and adaptively reused, can be the collective focal point around which a community builds its identity and pride as new business and economic development are sought. Prior to preservation and interpretation, however, the resources have to be identified and evaluated for historical significance. Accordingly, HRL staff can:

  • Complete historical resource reconnaissance surveys that identify properties with the potential for National Register eligibility.

  • Formally evaluate individual properties, as well as historic districts, and determine whether or not they are eligible for the National Register.

  • Assist clients in preparing historic preservation ordinances and preservation plans so that historically significant resources can be successfully managed and utilized today.

  • Develop walking tours and brochures that are designed to educate and entertain, as well as elevate public awareness of community resources.