Restored Schlitz Mansion Goes on the Market in Milwaukee
Milwaukee was built by a series of beer barons, including Joseph Schlitz, an emigrant of Germany who went on to found Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co.
Now, a gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian linked to the sultan of suds is on the market in Brew City. The turnkey home is listed for $350,000.
Victor Schlitz, who commissioned this 7,000-square-foot, five-bedroom home in 1890, was a liquor merchant and the nephew of Joseph Schlitz. Victor and his family lived in the home until 1928. His wife was the granddaughter of the royal architect to the czar of Russia. The three-story home has 77 windows, which was "pretty unusual for its time," says listing agent Laura Kruschka.
The home was sold to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and it became a Catholic orphanage. It morphed into a Montessori school in the 1970s. Its next owner -- who bought the home in 2000 and is now selling it so he can focus on restoring old cars -- brought the Victorian back to life.
"He has been lovingly restoring it back to a single-family home," says Kruschka. "He continues to work on the home while it's listed."
The restoration includes the kitchen, which had been ripped out to make room for a classroom during the school and orphanage days, and the original wood found throughout the home. True to the Victorian period, doors are 7 feet tall and ceilings are 10. The kitchen and bathrooms feature modern fixtures and cabinetry.
Even so, the lincrusta embossed wallpaper, walnut and maple flooring (plus a stunningly beautiful staircase), three fireplaces, and four sets of pocket doors -- all original -- are in good condition. An exterior wall of the home features an original terra-cotta detail.
A few original light fixtures were found underneath fluorescent lights and the owner "painstakingly went to auctions and found lighting true to the period," says Kruschka. A fourth fireplace was added, too. Both gas and electric are in the home, a rarity. The third floor is "a light-filled turret," she says, and ideal for an artist's studio or home office. "I could see somebody setting up an easel there and taking advantage of the light."
One project the new owner will have to tackle is the former servants quarters on the first floor, which was turned into a dorm with multiple toilets and showers. "Depending on who our buyer is, they may want to take advantage of all the plumbing that's there and make it into a B&B," says Kruschka. That the home sits adjacent to the city's designated B&B district is worthy of a toast. Cheers!