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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Adelman House exterior (S. Mikos photo, 2005)

Adelman House - junction of garage and house wings (S. Mikos photo, 2005)

Adelman House exterior (S. Mikos photo, 2005)

Adelman House interior skylights (S. Mikos photo, 2005)

Albert and Edith Adelman House
Fox Point, Milwaukee County
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Date of Construction: 1948

Albert "Ollie" Adelman was just 32 years old and had three young sons when he asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design an affordable home in 1948. Albert was the son of Benjamin Adelman, founder of a large laundry and dry cleaning business in the Milwaukee area. After two designs for larger brick residences proved too costly, Wright came up with a more economical design using concrete blocks and cypress wood.

Wright placed Ollie and Edith's house to exploit the natural beauty of its lot - a long, two and a half acre parcel with a deep, wooded ravine at one end. The house sits at the rear of the lot, overlooking the ravine, and faces south/southeast to take maximum advantage of natural light.

The inexpensive concrete block walls were tinted a pleasing buff color to harmonize with the cypress and create elegance from a low cost material. Alternate bands of blocks step out of an inch, emphasizing the horizontality of the design. The roof is of hand split cedar shingles, with wide overhangs. Inside, the walls mirror the same combination of concrete block and cypress as the exterior. The cypress ceilings with partially exposed rafters give the house a warm glow that blends in with the natural setting.

The interior is divided into three zones: a center living/reception area with glass window walls in front and back; a kitchen/dining wing; and a sleeping wing. A covered walkway leads from the end of the house to the garage, forming an "L" shape.

The house is a private residence. Please respect the privacy of the owners.


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