A 107-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright house is for sale on Milwaukee's east side

Barbara Elsner has kept her 1916 home true to the design of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Bogk house, at 2420 N. Terrace Ave. on Milwaukee's East Side has been listed for sale.
Barbara Elsner has kept her 1916 home true to the design of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Bogk house, at 2420 N. Terrace Ave. on Milwaukee's East Side has been listed for sale.
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The Frank Lloyd Wright Frederick Bogk House was sold for the first time in 1955. Now, for the second time ever, the North Point home at 2420 N. Terrace Ave. is for sale for $1.5 million.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 107-year-old structure was put on the market by the family with Christie's International Real Estate. The home includes five beds, four baths and is 6,712 square feet.

“The Bogk home is without rival in Milwaukee. It’s one of Wright’s architectural masterpieces; it’s a part of history as well as a work of art, set in a beautiful neighborhood just blocks from the lake,” said Melissa LeGrand of @properties elleven Christie’s International Real Estate, the exclusive listing agent for the property. “We are hoping to find the perfect buyer, someone who loves and appreciates Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, to carry on the legacy of this incredibly special home.”

The home was built in 1916 for politician and businessman Frederick Bogk. It was built while Wright was also working on the lmperial Hotel in Tokyo, so it has Asian influences.

Its unusual features include that it is built entirely of concrete with a brick veneer, has a clay tile roof, an elaborate facade of concrete ornamentation just under the roofline, and there are wide and deep mullions around the home’s many leaded art glass windows, which include small squares of gold that glitter in the sun.

"The spacious home, completed in 1917, differs from the Prairie style design of his earlier years, featuring an open plan, multi-level living space on the main floor with bedrooms and a sitting area on the second floor," according to the listing. "One-hundred seven years later, the Frederick C. Bogk House remains a jewel of the city’s lakeside North Point neighborhood."

The Bogks owned the home until 1955 when Barbara and Robert Elsner purchased the Bogk House.

“We were living in Whitefish Bay and we had two children, then for a time we raised our two nephews after their mom died suddenly,” Barbara told the Journal Sentinel in 2016. “At that time we had four kids under 4 years old and we had to find a bigger house fast.”

Barbara, now 97, moved to a smaller apartment around 2016. Her daughter, Margaret Howland, currently resides in the home with her family.

“After living here, my mom started understanding the value of the home and she educated herself,” Margaret said. “She is one of the founding members of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.”

Barbara said that when they first moved into the home, they wanted to do some landscaping, so her husband wrote to Wright to ask if there were any landscaping plans for their home.

Wright said no, but he did tell them what furniture they should add.

“We couldn’t afford it then, so over the years as the pieces came up for sale at auctions, we bought them.”

Frank Lloyd Wright-designed furniture inside the Bogk house is also part of the sale — for a limited time

In addition to the home being sold, Christie's wrote in the listing that several original Wright-designed furniture pieces, including rare masterworks from 1917 alongside late period works by Wright and his followers could also be part of the sale for the interested buyer. The additional cost would be $900,000.

This option to add on the furniture collection will be only be offered until mid-October. Otherwise, the furniture will be sold separately at auction.

“This furniture collection is truly one of a kind. The pieces, including some original to the home, and others designed in the 1950s and 1960s, are effectively a timeline of Wright’s work and his influence on the built environment. Our hope is that whoever purchases the Bogk House will choose to keep the pieces with the home, to honor Wright’s vision,” said Michael Jefferson, senior vice president at Christie’s, which is handling the sale of the collection.

Recognized by the American Institute of Architects as the greatest American architect of all time, Wright designed more than 1,100 architectural works, 532 of which were realized. Around 380 remain standing today. Eight of his buildings have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, including New York’s Guggenheim Museum and his showcase house, Fallingwater, in western Pennsylvania.

The Bogk House isn't Wright's only structure in either Wisconsin or Milwaukee. Other Wright-designed buildings in state include: Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison; First Unitarian Society Meeting House also in Madison; Seth Peterson Cottage in Reedsburg; Taliesin in Spring Green; Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa; Model B1: American-System Built Home in Milwaukee; Johnson Wax Administration Building in Racine; and The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread also in Racine.

Drew Dawson can be reached at ddawson@jrn.com or 262-289-1324.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Frank Lloyd Wright Bogk House for sale for $1.5 million in Milwaukee