By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 05, 2022 at 9:02 AM

Listen to the Urban Spelunking Audio Stories on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.

After a number of false starts, the Wauwatosa log cabin, built by Frederick Underwood in the 1920s, was successfully moved to 6404 W. North Ave. and renovated.

The move from Wauwatosa Avenue and renovation were undertaken by Galbraith Carnahan Architects, which moved into the updated cabin in April 2o21 from its previous home a block west.

As I noted in this Urban Spelunking story about the history and move of the structure, which includes "before" photos, as well as historical images, including one showing the previous move:

"Despite the fact that some believe the cabin to date back to pioneer days in Wauwatosa, the cabin was built in 1921 to plans drawn by Scott & Mayer at a cost of $15,000, by railroad executive Frederick D. Underwood.

"It was erected on a nearby site called Few Acres Farm, a 7.5-acre plot on the northwest corner of Wauwatosa and North Avenues, where the two-story Underwood mansion also stood.

"The cabin, which was built as a luxurious retreat rather than a rustic full-time home, was moved to its current site, across the street from the Wauwatosa Cemetery, in 1955 after the city bought the land for its new Longfellow School."

In the years before the move, the cabin was used as office space.

It was moved to make way for a new apartment building, which was completed a couple years ago.

Late last summer Galbraith Carnahan welcomed guests to an open house delayed a bit due to the coronavirus.

The exterior of the cabin looks much the same, albeit nicely cleaned up. But inside, the transformation is stunning.

While the original rustic look and feel of the cabin – including the central fireplace – has been honored and preserved, but in a space that also feels bright and open and modern, full of light.

"The move and restoration of the Underwood cabin was a true adventure," says partner Joe Galbraith. "We did a lot of the construction ourselves on nights and weekends, so it really tested our ability to manage a complicated project while keeping an architectural firm running. 

"It’s a great joy to come to work every day in a place that you had such an integral part in preserving."

Here's a look inside:



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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.