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 city’s influence on the North Point project, which has subtle Japanese cues and departs from the architect’s earlier single-storey Prairie homes. Unusually, the five-bedroom house is also constructed entirely with concrete, with a brick veneer, crowned by a temple-like green tiled hip roof, decorative lintels and some of the geometric forms that pattern it.
The Bogk House is also set across multiple levels and includes a spacious attic – requested by Mrs Bogk to launder her clothes in privacy. The building is usually constructed entirely with concrete, with a brick veneer.
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. The Elsner family has owned it ever since, meaning it’s on the market for the second time in 107 years.
Christie’s International Realty is marketing the Milwaukee property, with an asking price of $1.5m, and is a few blocks from the lakefront. It comes with original cabinetry and built-ins, including its monumental fireplaces.
When the Elsners bought the Wisconsin property, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, they wrote to the architect who advised them what furniture to add, which they did over many years, gradually buying pieces at auction. The Wright-designed furniture includes pieces original to the house, a rare piece from 1917, and several late works, available by separate negation for around $900,000.