A Wauwatosa landmark has been listed for sale. In fact, the home was built by a man whose story is intricately linked to Milwaukee and Wisconsin history, too.
The 1881 Queen Anne home built by Milwaukee and Wauwatosa pioneer Harrison Ludington, at 343 Glenview Ave. (aka 84th Street), just south of Bluemound Road, was recently listed.
The asking price for the 13-room home is $1,395,500. It went on the market on May 21.
Born in New York state in 1812, Ludington arrived in Milwaukee in 1838, where he not only bought much land, but also purchased Solomon Juneau’s general store on Water and Wisconsin. Later, he built the brick Ludington Block building on the northwest corner of that intersection.
In addition to getting into the lumber business in the 1850s, Ludington dove into politics and was elected mayor of Milwaukee in 1871 and then, five years later, he was elected governor of Wisconsin.
The year before he was elected mayor, he bought 100 acres in Tosa and operated them as a farm. In 1881, he built the house we’re talking about today for his son Frederick. Interestingly the houses on either side of the home were built as wedding gifts for two Ludington grandchildren.
Ludington died in 1891 and the family sold off much of the land in 1926 and today it is developed as Ravenswood.
An avenue named for Ludington, runs south from North Avenue to North 83rd Street in Wauwatosa.
According to the Wauwatosa Historical Society (as quoted by Wisconsin Historical Society):
“It is a two-and-one-half-story house clad in clapboard with a cross gable roof clad in asphalt shingles. The gable ends have the original decorative vergeboards and three-part, semi-circular windows. It has an irregular plan and rests on a masonry foundation. A decorative, vertical wood stringcourse at the cornice and between the first and second story is featured on each elevation. Two large brick chimneys with decorative corbeling are visible.
“The main (east) facade has a non-historic, one-story, wraparound porch with a hip roof that is supported by square columns. Fieldstone bollards and concrete steps lead to the raised porch entrance at the center of the facade. On the north elevation is a small, enclosed sun porch. Windows are generally one-over-one replacements with simple wood surrounds. A large stone with a plaque denoting the story of Harrison Ludington is in front of the house. A two-story carriage house is located at the back (north) of the property.”
The house has seven bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one half-bath. There’s a rec room, a den, full dining room, a laundry room, a deck outside and more. There’s also a barn/guest house out back on the .64-acre lot.
Here’s how the listing describes is:
“Square footage includes Guesthouse, additional finished upper & lower level (walkout full ceiling height) rooms. Well established Airbnb history- Google ''Historic Governor Mansion Wisconsin Airbnb'' and 6 figures of cash flow pre-covid this property is poised for a come-back that could be yours! IDEAL location in Wauwatosa, by the Medical College of Wisconsin perfect for traveling nurses or students- the Petit National Ice Center, the Milwaukee Zoo, The State Fair Grounds, shops, etc..double lot, MAJOR historical significance- look up 'Harrison Ludington Farmhouse' home of the Mayor of Milwaukee in 1871..1876 Governor of Wisconsin! Multiple decorative ornate fireplaces, kitchenettes, 14 rooms keycoded used as bedrooms, 3 staircases...a guesthouse too.”
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 OnMilwaukee.com 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.