Wright and Like 2023: Milwaukee & Vicinity

Event Date: 
Saturday, July 29, 2023
Milwaukee & Vicinity

After a very successful 2022 tour in Madison (thank you to those who attended!), we head to Milwaukee and its suburbs for 2023. This year’s tour offers up four Wright sites—two of which are public, while two are private homes—along with seven “like” sites. Of the seven, most can be classified as Usonian in design and concept, while one is a recent interpretation of the mid-twentieth-century Usonian ideal.

The Wrights

The earliest of the Wright-designed tour sites are those located at Burnham Block, owned and operated by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Burnham Block, Inc., since 2017. Buildings include the fully restored Model B-1 and the Two Flat Model C (under restoration), both American System-Built Home (ASBH) designs that date to 1916. While touring the Model C, look for a “new-to-them” dining room table that was originally from an ASBH in Madison. Donated in 2014 to Wright in Wisconsin, it was recently retrieved from River Falls and passed onto the Burnham Block. In addition to their gift shop offerings, rare and collectible books will also be available for sale. A third ASBH on the tour is the Elizabeth Murphy House/Model A203 (1917). Since last featured on our tour in 2017, the homeowners have continued their efforts in its restoration. The fourth Wright design is the Joseph Mollica House/Erdman Pre-Fab I, completed in 1959. It is the largest of the Marshall Erdman Prefab homes built and offers a reversed floorplan of Madison’s Van Tamelen House which we featured in our 2022 tour. Rounding out the Wright sites is Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (1961), which will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. only due to a private afternoon event.

The Likes

Designed by John Randal McDonald, the Norman and Charlotte Wegner House (1953) was significantly damaged by fire in 2015. While largely restored to its pre-fire condition, the homeowners did take modest personal license with a few of its original elements to make it more livable according to today’s standards.

A second tour home to rebound from “disaster” is the Gerald and Alice Colburn House (1958 - 1959), attributed to Russell Barr Williamson but with plans drawn by designer Llewellyn Streff. In 2018, a storm resulted in a tree landing squarely on the home’s roof. Like the Wegner House, a few upgrades were made during its reconstruction but the house continues to exude its undeniable “Williamsonian” design and character. 

Featured in Atomic Ranch, the Howard Schroeder-designed, Leonard and Ghita Bessman House has seen  little in alteration since its construction in 1956.  However, those features needing attention were addressed by the preservation-minded current owners using the mantra, “reuse, reduce and repair.”

The husband and wife firm of Willis and Lillian Leenhouts produced two tour homes. Built in 1952, the Theodore Jr. and Jean Friedlander House overlooks Lake Michigan. While largely maintaining its original footprint and design intent, the house was remodeled in 2015 by architect Ken Dahlin of Genesis Architecture to more properly reflect the current homeowners’ way of living. Completed four years later, the Dr. Bernhard and Dorothy Kaufman House is a tri-level Usonian design that was built with significant input from the Kaufmans. Despite an unassuming street-facing elevation, the home’s rear elevation offers multiple views to its expansive and recently re-landscaped backyard.

Billed as "Lake Drive Modern", the final tour home was completed in 2020 and is from the hand of architect Justin Racinowski of Racinowski Design Studio. Its design and very specific features were the result of a collaborative effort between Racinowski and the clients, who have had a longtime affinity for Mid-Century Modern design.

LATE ADD-ON: The Harry and Laura Stegemann House, completed in 1923, is a modest and rather unassuming frame bungalow with a floorplan that is reminiscent of the Elizabeth Murphy House/Model A203. Following comparison with plans from a 1921 national publication, the floorplan utilized for the Stegemann home was, no doubt, originally drawn by Russell Barr Williamson, who is confirmed to have had a hand in the ASBH program.

Click here for photos of the tour sites


The tour takes place rain or shine. Tickets are nonrefundable. You must provide your own transportation. Wear comfortable walking shoes and allow the entire day for the tour. Interior photography is not permitted. Children 12 or under are strongly discouraged. Most are private homes and most are not ADA compliant. 


Although the pandemic has subsided, we realize that not everyone remains unaffected by it. We will have hand-sanitizing stations and masks available at tour homes.


Advance tickets ($60 for Wright in Wisconsin members or Frank Lloyd Wright Reciprocal Sites Membership Program members and $70 for non-members) are available online or by calling our office at 608-287-0339. Tickets may be purchased on tour day at the Residence Inn by Marriott Milwaukee North in Glendale (see below). Tickets purchased on tour day cost $70 for members and $80 for non-members. 

Click the appropriate button for tickets. Non-members who wish to join Wright in Wisconsin should click here first.

Important note about payment: While payments are processed through PayPal, a PayPal account is not required. You can pay with a debit or credit card.

Member Ticket ($70)

Non-Member Ticket ($80)


Wright in Wisconsin is a non-profit organization devoted to preserving and promoting the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as the work of his apprentices and like-minded architects in Wisconsin.

Join now and receive member pricing on your tickets plus discounts to other events and the Monona Terrace Convention and Community Center gift shop, our seasonal newsletter, volunteer opportunities and more. The number of member-priced tickets you may purchase corresponds to your membership level. Please see our website for membership levels and pricing.


Tour information, day-of ticket sales, "will call" ticket pick-up and information on the Wisconsin Frank Lloyd Wright Trail will be available at our Tour Headquarters located at the Residence Inn by Marriott Milwaukee North, 7003 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale, in a meeting room located off the lobby. In addition to lodging at the Residence Inn (414-446-4259), Hampton Inn Glendale (414-446-5900) is located at 7035 N. Port Washington Road, and Fairfiled Inn and Suites (414-928-3858) is located at 7035 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale - all on the same block.  Other hotels are located a few miles to the north and to the south, but near the general tour area.  Rather than offering a block of rooms, we are advising those who seek lodging to either call the hotel directly or use one of the travel-related websites such as Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, etc., depending upon price preferences and hotel chain memberships.


Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event will not be taking place.

Last updated: July 7, 2023 17:00 CT