Skip to main content

Rediscovered: Frank Lloyd Wright house identified in Wisconsin

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Frank Lloyd Wright – arguably America's greatest architect and designer – built many homes in his home state of Wisconsin, but one had been hiding in plain sight for decades.

A home on Newton Avenue in Shorewood, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee, has been identified as a Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin said in a news release.

“I received a tip about the Newton home a few years ago and brushed it off. Only 433 Wright designs were executed and they are well-known and carefully researched, so I thought it couldn’t be," Mike Lilek, of Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin, said in the release. "When I finally visited the home I discovered many similarities to the Wright homes I care for on Burnham Street in Milwaukee.”

After doing research, the pieces of the puzzle came together, and now it's official – the Newton Avenue home, constructed in 1917 as an American System-Built House – was designed by the iconic architect.

It was part of his venture to design and market well-designed homes to a broad market by standardizing them to make them affordable, the release notes.

Wright had drawn and sketched more than 900 of these homes in his career, the release notes, however few were built. This is only the 14th System-Built House to be identified, On Milwaukee reports.

The Shorewood house – being called the Elizabeth Murphy House – is a "Model A203" with two bedrooms, although some remodeling has occurred over the years, many Wright designs are still visible: the original art glass windows, the wide chimney, the hipped roof, a pebble dash wall finish and woodwork on the walls.

"This is so incredibly rare and unusual," Lilek told the Journal Sentinel.

It has been at least 10 years since the last Wright-designed home was discovered. The home, owned by Pat Wisialowski, is expected to increase in value by 40 percent now, the newspaper notes.

"It's a gift and a blessing to have this home," Wisialowski told the Journal Sentinel. "It's a work of art."

Next Up

Brandon Gardas

St. Michael standoff suspect charged, bail set at $10 million

A judge on Monday set the high bail due to "very significant concerns of public safety" regarding Brandon Gardas.


Minnesota's premier trauma center housed at HCMC

The Minneapolis center is nationally recognized in pediatric trauma

Crisp & Green

Crisp & Green opening 13th store in Twin Cities in July

The fast-casual salad and grains restaurant has exploded onto the food scene.

FLickr - Target Field 2019 - mark grabe

Twins to host post-game concert with country star at Target Field

Country singer Cole Swindell is expected to perform for up to 75 minutes after the conclusion of the Blue Jays-Twins contest.


Canton Restaurant closes after nearly 40 years in Burnsville

It's the end of an era in the Twin Cities restaurant world.

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 12.47.20 PM

Luck strikes in Minnesota: lottery winners in Duluth, Grand Marais

The North Shore just so happened to be a lucky place to be this past weekend.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, June 27

BA.5 is expected to become the dominant subvariant in Minnesota.

police lights squad car

60-year-old woman arrested after firing shots inside Spicer home

SWAT evacuated nearby residents during the incident.

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line booked to play at the Minnesota State Fair

The band is the second country music act to be booked this year.


First case of monkeypox confirmed in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health says the risk to the public is "considered low" at this time.


Here are the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Minnesota

Thursday is Frank Lloyd Wright's birthday. He would have been 150.