Frank Lloyd Wright’s Milwaukee masterpiece Bogk House is back on the market

Plus a large collection of FLW furniture

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonians and Prarie homes are highly sought after, but this Milwaukee home is truly one of a kind – it’s his only single-family residential project in the city and has a Japanese-inspired design.

The F G Bogk House was commissioned by politician and businessman Frederick Bogk in 1916, while Wright was also working on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. It’s hard to miss the Japanese city’s influence on the North Point project, which departs from the architect’s earlier single-storey Prairie homes. Unusually for Wright, the five-bedroom house is also constructed entirely with concrete, with a brick veneer.

Wright’s Japanese inspiration is most obvious up top: the house is crowned by a temple-like green tiled hip roof, inset with decorative lintels and geometric forms that pattern it.

The Bogk House expands across multiple levels and includes a spacious attic, which Mrs. Bogk requested to launder her clothes in private.

Wright completed the single-family residence in 1917, and the Bogks owned it until 1955, when they sold it to Barbara and Robert Elsner, a founding member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. Members of the Elsner family have owned it ever since. It is currently occupied by Barbara’s daughter, Margaret Howland, who is also involved in several Wright preservation organisations. It has now come to market via Christie’s International Realty, with an asking price of $1.5m.

The Milwaukee property sits atop a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. It comes with original cabinetry and built-ins, including its monumental fireplaces.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, when the Elsners bought the Wisconsin property, they wrote to the architect, who advised them what furniture to add. They did this over many years, gradually buying pieces at auction. Many of these pieces are now available at a separate auction via Christie’s until October 2023.

Photography: Christie’s International Real Estate
Photography: Christie’s International Real Estate
Photography: Christie’s International Real Estate

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