Bradley House (J. Dean photo, 1975)
Bradley House (J. Dean photo, 1981)
Bradley House (J. Dean photo, 1979)
Harold and Josephine Bradley House
106 North Prospect Avenue, Madison, Dane County
Architects: George Elmslie and Louis Sullivan
Date of construction: 1909
This large house, with its cantilevered sleeping porches and distinctive overhangs, was one of Sullivan's last residential commissions and is a prime example of Prairie School design. Steel beams encased in wood support the large cantilevers that support a balcony and dominate the exterior composition. The cantilever ends are terminated by signature Sullivanesque ornamentation. The house is T-shaped in plan, with its main block running along the side of the property. The exterior of the house is organized around massive, brick faced piers that rise from the foundation to the cornice. Some historians attribute much of the design and interior furnishing of the house to George Elmslie, Sullivan's chief draftsperson at the time.
The house was built as a present from Richard T. Crane to Josephine Crane Bradley and her husband Harold, a professor at the University of Wisconsin. The Bradleys lived in the house for several years, moving next to a house designed by Purcell and Elmslie in the newly opened suburban neighborhood of Shorewood Hills. The Bradleys found the Prospect Avenue house both too large and too expensive to maintain.
The house suffered a devastating fire in March 1972, resulting in the loss of a substantial portion of its roof. The house has been fully restored and is currently home to the Sigma Phi Fraternity at the University of Wisconsin. The National Park Service designated the house a National Historical Landmark in 1976. The building is not open to the public; please respect the privacy of the residents.