Cream of the Cream City Award Winners: 2008
Abraham Frisch House - North Point North Historic District
2607 N. Wahl Avenue
Owners William Pape and Jacob Frick are to be commended for their dedication to the Abraham Frisch House, designed by the prominent Milwaukee architects Peter Brust and Richard Philipp one hundred years ago. The front terrace was rebuilt as originally constructed, the steps from the sidewalk to the terrace were rebuilt with added knee walls and brick plinths, iron railings were reinstalled, the rear porch was rebuilt, and pergolas were added. This project exemplifies the spirit of preservation, keeping a masterpiece in fine condition to pass along to future generations.
The Boiler House - Pabst Brewery Historic District
1234 N. 10th Street
The Boiler House was constructed in 1890 and designed by brewery specialist Charles Hoffmann. By the time the Boiler House LLC (investors headed up by Charles Trainer and Max Durmond) acquired the property, the cream brick was sooty from over a century of industrial pollution, windows had been changed out in different styles and various openings had been cut into the façade. Committed to excellence and authenticity, the owners cleaned the brick, restored the original wood windows, installed new doors and replaced missing sections of limestone to match the original. These efforts will set the benchmark for other restoration work at the Pabst Brewery Complex.
1130 E. Hamilton Street - East Village Historic District
Owners Rudy and David Gudgeon were faced with a big decision when fire hit their property on Hamilton Street in 2007. Rather than follow through with the condemnation orders and demolish the house, they used their preservation ethic to see this phoenix rise from the ashes. New wood siding, windows, doors, and porch details were all replicated from the originals. The Historic Preservation Commission applauds the Gudgeons at bringing this house “back from the brink” and retaining the unique character of East Village.
Mayer & Durner Buildings - North Third Street Historic District
2002 – 2008 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
These two buildings were given local historic designation in 1987. George Durner built or remodeled the corner building in 1883. Herman Mayer built the adjacent building, designed by Henery Messmer, in 1891. After several changes of ownership and periods of vacancy, Kenneth Sidello acquired the property and worked to rehabilitate the buildings and install appropriate storefronts that closely approximate the originals. The Mayer and Durner buildings are now once again a pair of outstanding commercial buildings that help define the unique character of King Drive.
1849 N. Palmer Street - Brewers Hill Historic District
This modest worker’s cottage of vernacular Greek Revival style dates to the earliest decades of the Brewers Hill neighborhood. By the time the neighborhood became a historic district, the house had been covered by asbestos siding and suffered from years of neglect. Current owners Christopher Banaszak and Benjamin Vandre removed the asbestos siding, repaired and added new clapboard siding, rebuilt the porch skirting, worked on the interior and painted the house to call out the architectural details brought to light. This is an excellent example of the positive impact that can be made on a neighborhood by the restoration of a relatively modest house.
1918 N. 2nd Street - Brewers Hill Historic District
This newly constructed carriage house was built behind a venerable Cream City brick Italianate style house in the heart of the Brewers Hill Historic District. Constructed to accommodate four cars, the owners Tamara and Mat Kroupa used a design from the Preservation Portfolio and followed plans carefully to make sure the proportions and details were authentic to the turn of the 20th century. The Historic Preservation Commission thought the project was a fine addition to the neighborhood and added value to the entire historic district.
1934 N. 2nd Street - Brewers Hill Historic District
Owner Mark Wolbrink and his brother’s design firm, Wolbrink Architects Chartered, took one of the classic house types in Brewers Hill and returned it to its former elegance. The property had been converted into a rooming house in 1942 and its front façade altered to accommodate a second entrance. Wolbrink was able to return the house back into a single family residence, recreating the front windows from surviving examples and returning the front porch to its original footprint. This project illustrates that research and a commitment to excellence can result in an outstanding residential restoration that is an inspiration for the entire neighborhood.
Stamm Building - South 1st and 2nd Streets National Historic District
221 S. 2nd Street
This building was constructed in 1865 by Charles Stamm. The building and its neighbors were in decline through much of the 20th century. Owner Lori Gensch found the Stamm Building’s cream brick painted white, a large fire escape added to the front façade, windows changed out and the storefront altered. The owner was able to bring back the cream colored brick, install new wood windows replicated after the original ones and put the storefronts back to their original configuration. This restoration will call attention to one of the city’s best intact collection of mid-to-late nineteenth century commercial buildings.
Wiskocil Building - Brady Street Historic District
928-932 E. Brady Street
This building has seen many ups and downs in its career since it was constructed to house the bakery and grocery of Vincent Wiskocil in 1883. Current owners Elan Peltz and Blair Williams of Wired Ventures LLC began serious restoration in 2008. Layers of substitute siding (asphalt siding from 1941, aluminum siding from 1964 and artificial brick from 1986) were removed revealing the decorative elements of the exterior. New wood windows were carefully made to match the originals. The storefronts were opened up to their original size, and a paint scheme was chosen that accentuates the trim work. This commercial restoration took a re-muddled eyesore and transformed it and its corner into one of the highlights of Brady Street.