Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

1037 N ASTOR ST

Architecture and History Inventory
1037 N ASTOR ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:James K. Ilsley House
Other Name:Ira Milton Jones Law Office
Contributing:
Reference Number:99640
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):1037 N ASTOR ST
County:Milwaukee
City:Milwaukee
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1897
Additions:
Survey Date:1984
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Chateauesque
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Alexander C. Eschweiler
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name:
National Register Listing Date:
State Register Listing Date:
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:This structure is a fine example of a late 19th century residence. Highly eclectic in its design it borrows from so many periods (ie Tudor, Elizabethan, Chateau) that it is not easily discerned stylistically. This polyglot architectural form is common in Milwaukee.

James K. Ilsley was born in 1854 in Milwaukee. His father Charles, born in Maine, came to this city in 1847. He joined in partnership with Samuel Marshall in 1849, to form the M&I Bank. It is the oldest continuously privately owned bank in the old Northwest. M&I was incorporated in 1888 with James becoming president in 1908. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and attended Harvard Law School. A prominent figure in the Republican Party, he served as president for both Layton Art Gallery and the Layton School of Art.

John Debbink was the builder.

The Marshall and Ilsley Bank founded by Charles Ilsley and Samuel Marshall in 1849 was one of Milwaukee’s pioneer financial institutions. James Ilsley, born in 1854, became president of his father’s bank as it rose to regional prominence by the twentieth century. As Victorian tastes faded in the 1890s, James Ilsley built this home modeled on the French Gothic chateau style popularized by New York’s trend-setting Vanderbilt family. Such style befitted sixteenth century aristocrats, wealthy nouveau riche, and Ilsley, whose widow Mary continued to live in the home after James’ death (1924) until the early 1950s.

This elegant home features French Gothic influenced terra cotta hood moldings over the first-floor windows, second-story brick imbrication, and an ornamental stepped brick “corbel table frieze” that trims the eaves of its brown, pressed-brick walls. Carved Gothic limestone ornaments frame the dormers that punctuate the steeply pitched roof of this urban chateau.
Bibliographic References:Tax Program. Permit. Gregory, J.G. History of Milwaukee, vol. IV, 1931, pp. 725-27. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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