In my meanderings through Milwaukee, I run into architect Eugene Liebert pretty often. Not only did he have a hand in designing the landmark Germania Building with his then-partner Herman P. Schnetzky, he also worked on a number of instantly recognizable schools â€“ public and private â€“ commercial buildings and churches in the city.
Like most architects of his day, Liebert also did some private residences, among the most notable and still standing is the Harnischfeger Mansion near 35th and Wisconsin.
Also surviving are three summer cottages that Liebert built for himself and family members in Glendale, on land he purchased in 1900 along the east bank of the Milwaukee River. The homes can be seen from across the falls in Kletzsch Park.
The most northerly of the three is the one Liebert built for himself and itâ€™s a stunning Germanic place with dark wood, ornate German-language inscriptions and a matching garage with a cistern on the roof. Next to it is the most immediately eye-catchingly beautiful with its elaborate scrollwork and gorgeous curves.
Also still surviving, but not for much longer, is the southernmost of the three, now called the Liebert Dillig Residence, at 6435 N. Sunny Point Ln. All three were declared county landmarks in 2009.
Now clad in red siding, the cottage-style home was built for Liebertâ€™s brother-in-law, jeweler Otto Logemann. One of the most interesting features of the home is its rustic stone-studded chimney, which has a firewood storage space that opens to both the inside and the outside of the home.
Thereâ€™s also a porch facing the river that is most certainly an amazing place to watch a summer sunset.
In 2012, the City of Glendale offered to buy 16 homes on this flood plain with a mix of its own money and federal funds from FEMA in order to raze them. According to news reports at the time only four homeowners expressed interest in selling. Among them were the owners of the house Liebert built for Logemann.
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