Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t the only famous architect from Wisconsin. Meet 4 more

Frank Lloyd Wright often gets all the credit for being an architect with Wisconsin ties.

But that’s only because he’s the most famous architect from Wisconsin. Wright (1867-1959) was very prolific, designing more than 1,000 structures — of which 449 were realized, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. In Wisconsin, they include several public sites you can visit, including Taliesin, Monona Terrace, Burnham Block, Wingspread, SC Johnson, and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

However, plenty of other architects were born in Wisconsin and designed projects within the state. For example, Erhard Brielmaier designed more churches and hospitals than any other architect, and dreamy Mediterranean-inspired estates designed by David Adler appear to be plucked out of Europe. Alexander C. Eschweiler’s innovation stretched from a Japanese pagoda-style gas station to a mansion built for Allis-Chalmers’ first president, which is now a Milwaukee art museum. Lastly, Alex Jordan Jr.’s House on the Rock has become one of Wisconsin’s top tourist attractions.

Thanks to preservation advocates, you can see these architects’ works across Wisconsin.

Erhard Brielmaier (1841-1917)

This emigrant from Germany has an esteemed label: He’s designed more churches and hospitals than any other architect. Notably, he designed the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Erhard Brielmaier moved to Milwaukee with his wife and 13 children in 1873, getting his feet wet by working as a carpenter and sculptor. He also built quite a few altars. Creating an architectural firm with three of his sons, the team designed more than 1,000 Catholic churches across the country, as well as in Canada.

His most well-known project in Wisconsin is the Basilica of St. Josaphat on Milwaukee’s South Side, which was modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy.

Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t the only famous architect from Wisconsin. Meet 4 more

Photo courtesy of Sulfur via CC BY-SA 3.0.

For another church project, he designed a Gothic-style chapel for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi in St. Francis, Wis., with stained-glass windows imported from Austria.

David Adler (1821-1905)

Born in Milwaukee, David Adler later went on to study at Princeton University and Beau. His sole Milwaukee project is what’s now known as Villa Terrace. This Mediterranean-style, art-museum complex is on Milwaukee’s far-east side, on Terrace Avenue overlooking Lake Michigan.

Adler’s other projects are mostly country estates along the North Shore of Chicago, in towns like Lake Forest. His sister, Frances Adler Elkins, worked alongside him as an interior designer, tasked with completing the aesthetics in these homes. Most of these projects were completed during the 1920s and into the 1930s.

Adler also designed an estate in Sarasota, Fla., for the nephew of Marshall Field, who founded the long-time department store. Today that mansion is the The Field Club’s clubhouse.

Alexander C. Eschweiler (1865-1940)

Cruise up and down lakeshore neighborhoods on Milwaukee’s East Side for a veritable tour of Alexander C. Eschweiler’s mansions, demonstrating Jacobethan and neo-Georgian design. The same is true for Wausau, where the Boston-born architect studied at Marquette University as well as Cornell University and set up his first practice in Milwaukee.

In Wausau, he designed what is now the First Universalist Church on Grant Street, along with a handful of homes. Like Adler, Eschweiler also designed a mansion that now serves as a boutique-sized art museum in Milwaukee: the Charles Allis Art Museum on the city’s East Side.

Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t the only famous architect from Wisconsin. Meet 4 more

Photo courtesy of Freekee via Wikipedia Commons.

He’s also celebrated for his Japanese pagoda-style gas stations, with gabled red roofs born out of stamped metal tiles. You can check one of Eschweiler’s out at 1647 S. 76th St. in West Allis.

Alex Jordan Jr. (1914-1989)

A tour of Wisconsin’s unique footing in the architecture world isn’t complete without talking about Madison-born Alex Jordan Jr., who designed and debuted House on the Rock in Spring Green, not far from Taliesin, in 1959.

This is one of the state’s top tourist attractions — and its most visited house. The rooms are cluttered with eccentric items (like the world’s largest indoor carousel) and, true to its name, the house was built on Deer Shelter Rock, which is 60 feet wide and 70 feet long.

Although now owned by someone else, you can still visit the complex today, with Christmas being the top season. With 6,000 collectible Santas on display, it doesn’t get any more original than that.

Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t the only famous architect from Wisconsin. Meet 4 more

Photo courtesy of Ronincmc via CC BY-SA 4.0.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t the only famous architect from Wisconsin. Meet 4 moreFrank Lloyd Wright isn’t the only famous architect from Wisconsin. Meet 4 more

  • Kristine Hansen

    Based in Milwaukee, Kristine Hansen has written about wonders around Wisconsin for,, and Milwaukee Magazine. She’s also the author of books about Wisconsin’s cheese, agritourism and Frank Lloyd Wright sites.

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