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Heritage committee in La Crosse campaigns to give Lincoln Middle School “landmark” status



Lincoln Middle School in La Crosse will end its century-long existence at the end of August as a public school building but new uses may be developed soon.

Members of the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission placed Lincoln on their newest list of La Crosse’s Top 10 most endangered buildings.

“If the building was listed as a local historic landmark, that would add a step” to any efforts to reuse the long-time school, commission chair Mackenzie Mindel said.

Commission members added that preserving the old brick school from the 1920s would be less costly than trying to put up a new building of the same design and materials.

The last day of classes for La Crosse’s Lincoln Middle School is Friday, though the building will officially close Aug. 31.

The La Crosse School District voted months ago to close Lincoln to save money, after a referendum for a new high school was voted down in November.

The future of Lincoln has not been decided yet, though the district held multiple public meetings taking ideas from the public on what to do going forward with the building.

“Even if the school is closing, it doesn’t mean that we have to lose the place that so many people find just out their back door or in the neighborhood itself,” Mindel said while speaking to reporters outside Lincoln this week.

The message “We love Lincoln” was drawn in chalk on the sidewalk outside Lincoln Middle School, in late May of 2023 (PHOTO: Brad Williams).

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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