It’s now listed for $799,900 with Leigh Mollenhoff of First Weber Realtors, the current owner. Mollenhoff, who is retiring to her South Dakota hometown, has owned the house since 1989 and made a few updates, including modernizing the kitchen and baths.
Whoever buys the 2,450-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath property also gets to keep the Stickley furnishings within, which complement the prairie-style home. Another crucial update was the additional storage added throughout, a rare amenity in a home built at the turn of the past century.
Built in 1917 by a contractor (John W. Groves & Son Co.) and based on Wright’s American System-Built Homes model—which aimed to compete with mail-order houses during that period—it changed ownership in 1920.
Thirty years of research by Wright scholar Mary Jane Hamilton confirmed her hunch in 2015 that it was a Wright-designed home.
“The house currently is in immaculate and pristine condition,” says Mollenhoff, including woodwork, shelving, molding, and trim. While recently renovated, the kitchen “fits the period,” says Mollenhoff, “so it’s not a glaring modern kitchen.” It does, however, feature high-end appliances like a Viking stove and Sub-Zero refrigerator.
All of the French doors have the same pattern, and leaded-glass windows throughout have been restored. A brick porch added to the home in 1927—unfortunately not very “Wright-ian,” says Mollenhoff—has since been transformed into a library. A two-car garage helps contend with nasty Wisconsin winters. The three-season porch is a great spot to read or relax, maybe even dine.
The city’s West Lawn neighborhood (sometimes referred to as the Regent Street or Monroe Street neighborhood) is filled with other well-cared-for homes, mostly built during the 1920s and 1930s. Camp Randall, the home field of the Wisconsin Badgers’ football team, is six blocks away.
“It’s close to the university (University of Wisconsin), the hospitals, not that far from downtown, and close to Monroe Street,” says Mollenhoff. “It’s also two blocks from Trader Joe’s.”
“For what you get, it’s reasonably priced. It’s not uncommon to pay this price in that area. Properties do go from $500,000 to over a million,” says Mollenhoff.
Who would be the perfect buyer to continue preserving this home’s legacy?
“It’s definitely not a first home,” says Mollenhoff. “It might be somebody connected with the medical school and university, and somebody who doesn’t want to lift a finger to work on the property.”
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