Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Historic Milwaukee House Tour, “Red Tile Style.” Oct.16

On Saturday morning the 16th, we took another one of the Historic Milwaukee organization’s architectural open house tours, this one focusing on Mediterranean Italian or Spanish Revival homes. It was a bit shorter tour than some, having only six houses in the posh Lake Drive neighborhood, but very interesting nevertheless. We were less interested in the purely Mediterranean features of the houses as much as the things we like in houses generally—balconies, wrought iron railings, and other signs of gracious design. Our hands-down favorite was the first house on the tour. A ‘classic Mediterranean villa,” this remarkable house was originally built in two separate sections connected by an open cloister. One half contained kitchen, dining, and bedrooms, garage, servant’s quarters above the garage area, and a third-story turret above all. The other section contained only two rooms: a two-story library (oh, faunch!) and a similar music room which at one time had incorporated a built-in pipe organ and was otherwise large enough to accommodate TWO grand pianos. The organ has since been removed, and the space once occupied by the organ works has been rebuilt into a nice bar area. The open cloister has been closed in and is now the main entrance to the home. The property overlooks Lake Michigan directly and has two magnificent huge windows on either side. The other homes on the tour were very nice, and I would be pleased to inherit any one of them, but this one was the standout.
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