Get to know the MPA Board!
Peter Zanghi - President
To kick off our news series highlighting our amazing Board members, we sat down with MPA President Peter Zanghi to find out his "preservation story" and ask a few fun questions.
I got involved with preservation through my interest in the Soldiers Home. Back when the Soldiers Home was added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered list, I had read some articles that talked about the partial roof collapse at Old Main and how a number of buildings on the campus were threatened with demolition. Before then, I had no idea that any of these buildings existed but found them fascinating and wondered what was being done to try to save them. I ended up connecting with [MPA President Emeritus] Dawn McCarthy in 2012 and was invited to join the Soldiers Home Local Work Group and soon after that joined the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance Board of Directors.
I have no educational background in preservation, but have always had an interest in architecture, history, and the urban environment. I work as a Property Manager at Irgens which I enjoy because it allows me to learn all of the various components that make a building function. I love Milwaukee for many reasons, but here are a few:
- A vast collection of intact historic buildings.
- Dozens of beautiful neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character.
- A beautiful lakefront that is generally well-preserved for public use and is easily accessible.
- A great live music scene, including some gorgeous historic venues.
- An excellent parks system.
1. What three words best define you?
Patient, creative, observant
2. What is your guiding principle?
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18)
3. What is a recent book that you’ve read and would recommend?
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
4. What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I played guitar in a rock and roll cover band in college.
5. What is your favorite free time activity?
Seeing live music.
6. What is one of your favorite places in Milwaukee? Outside of Milwaukee?
In Milwaukee: Estabrook Park Beer Garden
Outside of Milwaukee: Denver Union Station
7. Who is one person you would love to meet?
Trey Anastasio of the band Phish
8. What inspires you and why?
Cities inspire me because they are dynamic, full of activity, and are like a big playground to explore.
9. What do you see as the future of historic preservation?
I see preservation becoming increasingly relevant as we deal with issues related to climate change, racial equity, and sustainable building practices.
10. Why should people support MPA?
We are the only organization in Milwaukee whose core focus is to advocate for the preservation of historic buildings. If you love the city and want to make sure we don’t lose the places that make it unique, please support us!