About This 1891 Queen Anne Victorian In Milwaukee Wisconsin
With the grace of a fine lady in evening dress, the Wisconsin 1891 Queen Anne Victorian rests atop a slight rise planted with hydrangea bushes. Let me tell you her story.
Built in 1891, the house had a noteworthy beginning being built by and for men known for their effect on early Milwaukee architecture, both private and public. Joseph A Meyers, wife Bertha, 3 year old daughter Birdie, and within two years a son Joseph P., along with Ida the hired girl were soon enjoying their new home. It survived to the present intact mainly because in its entire history it was family owned and lived in by only four different families. Its Queen Anne style, beauty and character mattered enough to the owners to enjoy and preserve it as originally conceived to an unusual degree. Its been restored where needed to approximately 90% original condition. From the surrounding front porch you enter through a massive oak front door into a hallway that leads to both a private entrance for Joseph Meyers’ home office for his stoneyard (which supplied large scale building stone) and separate home entrance. Within the inner hall a main open staircase curves up to the second floor with a 5’x8′ window wall of stained glass near the top. On sunny days the beveled glass areas shine “fireflies” of light on the walls and even moonlight shines in when the moon is high. The inner hall also has three pocket doors. One leads to a dining room with hand colored Anaglypta wall covering below the chair rail. The other two lead to an outer parlor and an inner (family) parlor. The outer parlor has a stained glass window interpretation of sunrise over Lake Michigan. The two parlors are separated by a fancy spool and spindle divider atop a wide entryway. The inner parlor has stained glass in restful colors above and on three sides of a bay window. A fireplace with wooded surround and beautiful inset figural tiles (made by the Trent Tile Co., established in 1882) including a lady reclining on lily pads and other figures surround the fireplace as well as an area of floor in front. Returning through the dining room, a home entrance door leads to the office and another to the kitchen wing. Just off the kitchen passage is a full bath and farther on is a large pantry. Across the hall is a smaller larder/pantry with a pocket door. The larder was intended for foodstuffs. A brass speaking tube leads from the kitchen up to the Master Bedroom. The kitchen is bright and airy with a huge original 6′ wide sink. Attached at this part of the house is a side porch with a door into the kitchen. Another door leads to the back hall stairs to the second floor, the basement and outside. The basement has an attractive laundry room with below grade windows that let in an abundance of natural light. A non-functioning dumbwaiter shaft goes up to the kitchen and second floor. At the top of the main staircase hangs a reproduction 13 arm light fixture nearly identical to the original gas light fixture that hung there in 1891. When the lights are dimmed you can see how the gas light era would have looked at night. This part of the upper hall has three arches that lead to the four bedrooms. The Master bedroom has a sky blue tiled fireplace with wood surround that contains a long dressing mirror to one side. Past the bedrooms the hall continues to the upper full bath which retains the original claw foot tup. Off the hall and above the kitchen wing is an interesting additional room at the top of the back stairs. It was probably used as a sewing/utility room. It has an eyebrow window for natural light as well as an entire glass sectioned wall providing natural light to the back stairs. A nearby door leads to the full story high attic with windows on three sides including a front dormer with tall windows. An entirely wainscoted room (ceiling and walls) was Ida, the hired girl’s unheated attic room. The yard is enclosed with a cedar fence and there are two period garages, a two car and a one car.