Bernard Joseph Eiring House

2825 West Kilbourn Avenue

The well-known architect Alfred C. Clas designed this home in 1888 for Bernard Joseph Eiring, a German immigrant and President of the Friend Brothers Clothing Company. The builder was Charles Krause. Clas later partnered with George Ferry (Ferry & Clas) to design the Milwaukee Public Library and the Pabst Mansion. Then Clas joined with his son (Clas Shepard & Clas) and designed the Tripoli Shrine on Wisconsin Ave.

This massive home, built in the Victorian Romanesque style, has half-timbering and elaborate scrollwork. Constructed of Milwaukee’s famous Cream City brick, it has 11-foot ceilings, four fireplaces, ornamental plasterwork, pocket doors, and eight bedrooms. With 18 rooms in total, the house comprises approximately 7,000 sq. feet.

The second owner was Edward J. Koch, sons of John C. Koch, Mayor of Milwaukee. Edward and his wife, Martha, had four sons and five daughters. Martha remained in the home until her death in 1941. The home has had many incarnations since then — a home for the elderly for 12 years, then a Muslim meeting room, and then the Milwaukee School of Engineering Triangle Fraternity for 12 years.

Beginning in the 1990s, it was operated as a Bed & Breakfast under two separate owners. It was featured in City Lifestyle Magazine (April 2003) and M Magazine (May 2004). It once again became a private, family home in 2007.

2 Added Stories

  1. Bernard Eiring is my great great grandfather. It is so neat seeing this, thank you for putting this together. They also had lake property in Eagle that my grandparents would live at in the summer. I remember seeing this house when I would visit them.

    1. Bernard Eiring is also my great great grandfather! This is so very interesting and I very much appreciate you documenting this. Rachel, I have great memories of times on Eagle Springs growing up.

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