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Frank Lloyd Wright's Bogk House in Milwaukee is for sale for a cool $1.5 million

The Frederick Bogk House on Milwaukee's east side, designed by the great Frank Lloyd Wright, is back on the market.
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Posted at 4:53 PM, Sep 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-27 17:54:21-04

MILWAUKEE — The Frederick Bogk House on Milwaukee's east side, designed by the great Frank Lloyd Wright, is back on the market - for just the second time in 107 years.

Christie’s International Real Estate listed the property at 2420 N. Terrace Ave. for $1.5 million.

A little background. Frederick Bogk commissioned the home in 1916. It stands out on Terrace Avenue with its striking Prairie Style facade, broad waves and horizontal lines, OnMilwaukee notes.

The Elsner family bought the home in 1955 and they still own it today.

The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Read the listing/press release below:

The Frederick C. Bogk House, the Only Single-Family Residence Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Milwaukee, Wis. is on the Market For Only the Second Time in 107 Years  

The two-level residence on the National Register of Historic Places was designed by the American architect in 1916; In a collaboration between Christie’s International Real Estate and Christie’s, the home is being offered for sale with several original furniture pieces dating from 1917, also designed by Wright

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2023) – In 1916, preparing to travel to Japan to oversee construction of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, architect Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to build a family home for Milwaukee businessman Frederick C. Bogk and his wife Mary. The spacious home, completed in 1917, differs from the Prairie style design of his earlier years, featuring an open plan, multi-level living space on the main floor with bedrooms and a sitting area on the second floor. 107 years later, the Frederick C. Bogk House [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com] remains the sole Wright-designed single-family home in Milwaukee and a jewel of the city’s lakeside North Point neighborhood.

Since 1955, the home has been lovingly cared for by the Elsner family [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com], and today, it is on the market for only the second time in its history, listed by @properties elleven Christie’s International Real Estate. And in an exclusive collaboration, Christie’s [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com] auction house is also offering for sale a collection of several original Wright-designed furniture pieces from the home, including rare masterworks from 1917 alongside late period works by Wright and his followers.

The Home

The stately 6,712 square foot, five-bedroom, 3.5-bath home is a pristine example of Wright’s work from his early period, built to offer privacy as well as welcome in ample natural light. The house retains many original decorative elements including leaded glass windows, recessed lighting, built-in cabinetry, and a central fireplace, Illustrating the creative genius of Frank Lloyd Wright.

On the first floor, the living room is set in the front of the house, featuring a tiled fountain, while the kitchen and dining room are situated in the rear. The upper level includes five bedrooms. The home is a rare instance of a Frank Lloyd Wright house with a spacious attic, which was a request from Mrs. Bogk so she could do her laundry indoors. Also atypical of Wright’s designs of this period, the home includes an attached one-car garage.

The home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is accented with numerous built-in features which are designated historic easements and must be preserved into perpetuity. The street side of the home features large windows that keep the home filled with natural light. This light reveals different design details depending on the time of day, according to Barbara Elsner, the current owner.

Wright himself vouched for the home in correspondence with the Elsner family soon after they moved in, declaring the home to be “a good house of a good period for a good client.”

“The Bogk home is without rival in Milwaukee. It’s one of Wright’s architectural masterpieces; it’s a part of history as well as a work of art, set in a beautiful neighborhood just blocks from the lake,” says Melissa LeGrand of @properties elleven Christie’s International Real Estate, exclusive listing agent for the property. “We are hoping to find the perfect buyer, someone who loves and appreciates Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, to carry on the legacy of this incredibly special home.”

The Furniture Collection

When Barbara Elsner and her late husband Robert bought the home from the Bogks, they were determined to keep it as close to Wright’s original vision as possible. Seeking landscaping advice, they wrote to Wright inquiring about his original plans for the grounds. He responded, but rather than offering an opinion on the exterior, Wright gave them information on furniture they could purchase that would match the home. The Elsners followed his advice, acquiring several pieces of original Wright-designed Heritage Henredon furniture that has been carefully maintained through the years.

The Elsners also tracked down the Bogks’ daughter in Florida, and after corresponding over two decades, they were eventually able to buy back the original dining room table, drop-leaf game table and library desk, all dating from 1917, along with eight original dining room chairs and two side chairs. When it came time to replace the carpet, the Elsners recreated the original designs, further restoring the interior to its intended beauty. To finalize the scheme, the Elsner’s commissioned the Taliesin Architects, the heirs to Wright’s architectural practice, to produce original furniture for the Bogk house, adding a new chapter to the storied history of the home.

“This furniture collection is truly one of a kind. The pieces, including some original to the home, and others designed in the 1950s and 1960s, are effectively a timeline of Wright’s work and his influence on the built environment. Our hope is that whoever purchases the Bogk House will choose to keep the pieces with the home, to honor Wright’s vision,” said Michael Jefferson, senior vice president at Christie’s, who is handling the sale of the collection.

The Frederick C. Bogk House is offered for $1,500,000, exclusively represented by @properties elleven Christie’s International Real Estate. The furniture collection is being offered for an additional price in the range of $900,000 through Christie’s auction house. The option to purchase the collection with the house will be viable until mid-October, when the pieces will be removed to be sold separately at auction.

Recognized by the American Institute of Architects [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com]as the greatest American architect of all time, Frank Lloyd Wright [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com] created some of the world’s most innovative spaces. He designed more than 1,100 architectural works, 532 of which were realized, and 380 of which remain standing today. Eight of his buildings have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, including New York’s Guggenheim Museum and his showcase house, Fallingwater, in western Pennsylvania.

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About @properties elleven Christie’s International Real Estate

@properties elleven Christie’s International Real Estate is Wisconsin’s premier independent real estate brokerage. Led by broker-owner team Melissa LeGrand and Brogan Brunker, the firm brings innovation, elevation and empowerment to all of its clients, with best-in-class service and an unparalleled knowledge of luxury and architecturally significant homes. With sophisticated, standout marketing, industry-leading technology, and access to a global real estate network through its affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, @properties elleven offers exceptional luxury experiences to every client, at every price point. For more information, visit ellevenre.com. [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com]