One of the stateliest lakefront mansions has hit the market once again.
The Italian Renaissance Herman A. Uihlein Mansion, 5270 N. Lake Dr. in Whitefish Bay is listed for $6,950,000.
The 13,717-square foot home on three acres of land has nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms and a four-car garage and is listed by Peter Mahler of Mahler Sotheby’s International Realty.
It also has stunning plasterwork, Cyril Colnik ironwork, limestone fireplaces and an in-home cinema, among other features.
In something of a twist, the home – designed by Kirchhoff & Rose (preferred Schlitz architects for its tied house taverns, the Schlitz Palm Gardens and other properties) – was built by Schlitz Brewing scion Herman Uihlein and was the first home erected in the new subdivision created from the land that had previously been home to Pabst’s Whitefish Bay Resort. (It's not the only connection between the families: Capt. Pabst's son Fred married Ida Uihlein, too.)
When the lakeshore pleasure and beer garden closed in 1914, the land was subdivided into plots for residential development.
So early were the Uihleins that when they moved into the home in 1919, wrote H. Russell Zimmermann in his book “Magnificient Milwaukee,” they were living “among farms without roads or sidewalks; the mansion was run on bottled gas.”
None of that, of course, is true anymore and the home is a stunning masterwork situated in an in-demand neighborhood.
While the home is currently owned by former Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan, who bought it in 2007, it was previously owned by Kallas Rao, who purchased it from Peter Buffett – the musician son of billionaire Warren Buffett – when the latter relocated to New York City.
Buffett rather famously bought the limestone gem in 1989 for $1.75 million.
Uihlein, son of Schlitz president Henry Uihlein, and his wife Claudia bought the land in 1915, when Herman was running the Lavine Gear Company.
According to Zimmermann, Thomas Rose drew the plans to Claudia Uihlein’s specifications in 1917 and construction started in 1918, with Colnik providing the elaborate iron work and respected carpenters the Matthews Brothers crafting the woodwork, paneling and doors.
So detailed were the plans that they collected in a book running 134 pages.
Herman Uihlein – who was on the board at Schlitz – died in 1942 and his wife left in 1946. Seven years later, the house was sold to the La Salette Fathers, a Catholic order founded in France in 1851.
The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and was listed by Wisconsin six years later.
According to the listing, the kitchen was renovated in 2018 and the bathrooms and boiler and air-conditioning systems are also recently updated.
The home is set far off the street on a lot behind a fence. Out back is a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.
According to the nomination form for the National Register listing, “The limestone mansion is characterized by classical detailing, ornate craftsmanship, and a diverse interior design. Most striking is the impressive rounded entryway featuring immense columns, a front door adorned by an elaborate wrought iron grille and a sheltered second-floor balcony.
The interior boasts a variety of period designs utilizing lavish materials. The prominent entry hall is dominated by a sweeping grand staircase with an ornate wrought iron railing. It also features a large elaborately carved sandstone fireplace, carved walnut doors and a coffered ceiling with decorative plasterwork.”
The Wisconsin HIstorical Society adds, “The exterior walls are constructed of smooth, buff Bedford limestone blocks extracted from a single level of an Indiana quarry, with stone details carved at the construction site. The symmetrical front facade is dominated by a projecting central pavilion enclosing the first story entry and sheltering a second story balcony.
“The pavilion is surmounted by a full entablature (with bracketed cornice) and crowned with a balustrade. Colossal Ionic pilasters and engaged columns (with carved tobacco leaf motifs), coupled on either side of the entry, rise two stories to support the entablature.”
Here is the complete listing, which includes video.
PHOTOS: Mahler Sotheby's International Realty.
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.