By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 08, 2024 at 11:27 AM

Architect Alexander C. Eschweiler left an enduring mark on Milwaukee thanks to high-profile projects like the Wisconsin Gas Light building, the Mariner Building that’s now home to the Hotel Metro, Philipp Elementary, Wisconsin Telephone, the Charles Allis Art Museum and many other buildings.


One of his loveliest homes – at 2405 E. Wyoming Pl., facing Water Tower Park on Milwaukee’s East Side – has hit the market.

Eschweiler designed the burnt sienna-brick English Revival Style home – located in the North Point South Historic District – for Frank Ward Smith.

Asking price for the 14-room, seven-bedroom, 4.5-bath house, with a three-car garage and just over 7,000 square feet of space is $1.795 million.


The house is located in something of an Eschweiler hotspot, with the 1903 Charles Rudolph Falk and the 1913 Jesse Hoyt Smith houses just around the corner on Terrace Avenue, to name a couple examples.

Frank W. Smith, born in Galesburg, Illinois in 1866, came to Milwaukee where he worked at the Jones Island shipbuilding firm of Wolf & Davidson before moving over to the Milwaukee Shipyard Company.

Smith married Josephine Julia Fitzgerald, the daughter of his both John Fitzgerald, and they had two daughters.

dining roomX

By the time he hired Eschweiler to design this home, Smith was a partner in the Milwaukee Dry Dock Company, which was located on Vogel’s Island near 6th and Canal Streets in the Menomonee Valley (near the current Harley-Davidson Museum).

The house that was built by carpenter John Debbink and Charles Grunewald, and cost just $9,000 to construct, is a beautiful one.

“The perfect combination of classic details and reimagined spaces,” the listing notes. “A beautiful foyer welcomes you into grand spaces with a gracious floor plan and seamless flow from the living room and into the family and dining rooms. Spectacular custom eat-in kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, expansive island, and beautiful butlers pantry. Keeping room with fireplace and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves opens to a large, private bluestone patio.


“Oversized primary suite with fireplace, walk-in closet, and luxe bath. Finished third floor with large family room, office, full bath, and guest rooms. Rare, three-car garage with storage and ready for an electric charger.”

The Smiths sold the house in 1920 to Pressed Steel Tank Co. owner Robert H. Hackney and his wife Mary Conner, who had three children. Robert, however, passed away just three years later.

Although Mary would live to be nearly 105 years old, passing away in 1976, she sold the house in 1939 for just over $16,000, to Michael F. Cudahy, one of the sons of meatpacker Patrick Cudahy. Michael’s brother, John – whose own son Michael would become a philanthropist known to many of us – lived around the corner on Terrace.

The next owner, was A. Peter McArthur and his wife Shirley du Fresne McArthur, who bought the place in 1972 for $49,000. Perhaps appropriately, some of the information I’ve gleaned on this house has come from Shirley’s encyclopedic book on the North Point Historic Districts neighborhood.

In more recent years, the home was owned by Eric Vogel and Megan Holbrook, who won a Cream of the Cream City Award for the $389,000 addition they put on the house in 2013, 13 years after buying the home for $592,000.


Like the du Fresne McArthur, Vogel is also an author, having co-written the book “Layton’s Legacy” with John Eastberg.

But I digress.

You could be next in this pantheon of owners, if you’ve got the means and the desire.

See the full listing with many more photographs here.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.