F. C. Bogk House, Milwaukee Wisconsin

Date added: October 28, 2009 Categories: Wisconsin House Prairie Wright, Frank Lloyd
West elevation (1969)

Frederick C. Bogk was well known in Milwaukee business and political circles during the early decades of the 1900's. Born in Sheboygan Falls, he came to Milwaukee as a child and after completing his education, worked for the Wisconsin Central Railroad, rising to the position of land commissioner. In 1908 he joined the Ricketson Mineral Paint Works and later became president of the company. For a time he also had an interest in Bogk and Pfleger, an insurance and real estate firm. He was elected alderman from the fifteenth ward in 1904 and after serving two terms, was elected alderman-at-large, a position he held from 1908 to 1920.

This house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and executed under his supervision. It was built in 1916-1917, in the so-called Japanese years of Wright's career. The building has been designated a Milwaukee landmark.

The house is a two-story masonry building. The main portion of the house is rectangular with a rectangular east wing. It measures 47 feet (including the projecting dining room alcove) x 76 feet 6 inches in length.

The wall material is a tan tapestry brick and trimmed with precast concrete. The brickwork has wide, raked horizontal mortar joints and tinted and filled vertical joints. The building presents typical Wright details in the strong horizontal lines, geometric patterns, deep-set windows, and wide overhanging eaves. The lintels, sills, and capstones are precast concrete. The wooden windows and trim are painted a "Wright red."

The house has a full basement with mechanical equipment, laundry room, recreation room, and storage. The entry vestibule is at grade level and has a newly added powder room beneath the front stairs leading to the second floor stairs. From this level a short flight of steps leads up to the living room level which occupies the entire width of the west front of the house. Three steps above the living room is the dining room in the southeast corner beyond a central fireplace. The kitchen is on the east. Opening off the remodelled kitchen are the back stairs, basement stairs, and pantry. The garage is in the rear wing beyond the kitchen. The second floor has a maid's room and bath in the wing to the east above the garage, a bedroom on the east above the kitchen, a bedroom and bath in the northeast corner, a large bedroom with a fireplace in the southwest corner, and the master bedroom and bath above the dining room. A door between these last two bedrooms opens onto the balcony on the south side of the house above the dining room alcove.

The building faces west northwest on North Terrace Avenue just two blocks west of Lake Michigan. The buildings in the neighborhood are of the pre-1930 era with the noted exception of a non-descript duplex just south of,the Bogk house. The small lot is typical of those in the block.