Abraham S. & Alice Esbenshade House

3119 West Wells Street

The Esbenshade House is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.  It was designed in 1899 by Crane and Barkhausen, a firm that also designed the nearby Schuster Mansion (3209 W. Wells St.).  Esbenshade was secretary-treasurer of the F. Westphal Company, a file manufacturer, during the eight years he lived in this house.

The house, one of the best-preserved late Queen Anne residences in the city, also includes elements of German Renaissance Revival, an architectural style specific to Milwaukee.  Exterior materials include brick, rock-faced limestone, terra cotta, dressed limestone, and roughcast stucco. The home’s large entryway has elegantly carved quarter sawn oak woodwork and an intricately designed plaster cornice.  The massive stairway features a superb stained glass window with a bowed center medallion.  It has two parlors; one with a floor to ceiling, one-of-a-kind, hand-carved fireplace mantle, and an unusual stained glass window.

The home’s dining room has a beamed and coffered ceiling, and a stunning built-in china cabinet.  The butler’s pantry is done entirely in quarter sawn oak.

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