Jim Godsil is a Milwaukee treasure. He has worked tirelessly to preserve Milwaukee’s heritage. He has taken the lead in uniting diverse neighborhood groups through e-mail, picnics and simple, individual face-to-face contacts.
Jim has promoted historic home bed and breakfast tourism in the city; fought for an aesthetically valuable design for a planned Harley Davidson museum; contributed greatly to the fight against unneeded, unwanted and obscenely obscene freeway expansion in the area; and is helping lead the effort to preserve the historic structures in a Civil War era veterans hospital.
He is an intelligent, committed advocate of urbanism, diversity and creativity.
Milwaukee’s life is richer because Jim Godsil is in it.
I am happy to endorse James Godsil’s efforts to foster historic tourism in Milwaukee. His dissertation manuscript on “Ethnic Identities and Class Coalitions in Wisconsin, 1850–1920″ is ample evidence of his intellectual grasp of the possibilities of inspiring visitors with Milwaukee’s rich ethnic past yet embodied in its architecture and its neighborhoods. His 30 year day-to-day efforts as the owner of a company that specializes in the restoration of historic buildings and homes and his voluntary work on behalf of the social enterprises of our historic working class neighborhoods nicely complements his intellectual background.
Greater Milwaukee Committee
In the short few months that I’ve had to get to know Jim Godsil, I’ve found him to be an absolutely tireless advocate for the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, the restoration of historic homes, and heritage tourism designed to realize a connection between job growth and historic preservation in Milwaukee. His ability to make connections where they did not previously exist amazes me and I’m happy to be part of his network of people who care about Milwaukee’s future.
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
James Godsil, a co-founder of the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, is now focusing his efforts on galvanizing support for preservation of the Veteran’s Administration all denominational Soldiers’ Chapel. His interests extend beyond preservation and include promotion of our ethnic diversity, cultural heritage and architectural history as the back bone of economic development that promotes our rich history for present and future generations.
Annemarie Sawkins, Ph.D, Associate Curator, Haggerty Museum of Art
That’s a fine mission and you’re a worthy emissary.
Congress for the New Urbanism
City of Milwaukee
Department of City Development
City Plan Commission
Historic Preservation Commission
To Whom It May Concern,
June 16, 2004
This letter will serve to introduce Jim Godsil of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Historic Preservation staff at the Department of City Development is familiar with and appreciative of Mr. Godsil’s roles as community organizer, preservation advocate,and roofing craftsman. About 18 months ago, he founded the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, an advocacy group that has brought significant attention to preservation issues in Milwaukee. He has organized citizens to appear at public hearings on behalf of preservation, and keeps many in the community updated on the issues through frequent e-mails and public events.
Mr. Godsil is a skilled roofer. In this role he has done sensitive construction work on scores of architecturally and historically significant buildings in Milwaukee. His interest in mentoring younger workers has resulted in others making the decision to direct significant talents to the building arts.
Mr. Godsil is truly one of Milwaukee’s most visible preservation practitioners.
Martha L. Brown
To whom it may concern:
For the last several years I have watched and supported the efforts of Jim Godsil to find and nurture the often-natural connections among those interested in promoting urban centers as vibrant working environments as well as those seeing our cities as repositories of cultural, architectural, and social history. Jim’s background in the trade’s with “hands on” experience restoring the structural and aesthetic integrity of Milwaukee’s historical homes and buildings is nicely balanced by his lifelong understanding of the role of compromise and collaboration in bringing social support to all members of a community. Perhaps most importantly, Jim is tireless and persistent in strengthening these “natural connections” among those of disparate factions, ideologies, and yes, classes.
President and CEO
Grede Foundries, Inc.