The prominent and prolific architect, Herman W. Buemming, designed this home in 1907 for the Closterman family. City records indicate the house was completed in 1910, but it is unclear whether the Closterman family ever occupied the residence. Buemming, who graduated from Columbia University Architectural School in New York City, met his future business partner, Gustave Dick, when they both worked for architect George C. Post. Starting their own practice in Milwaukee in 1896, Buemming and Dick’s designs over the next 11 years include the former Century Hall on Farwell near North Avenue and the Otto Pietsch Building at 826 N. Plankinton. This home, a Prairie four-square design, is a variation on a plan and massing used by the architects in similar homes on the east and near west sides of Milwaukee. After breaking up the partnership, Buemming continued to design in two more partnerships and independently until his eventual retirement in 1943.
The house was turned into a fraternity house in the 1970s. The current owner purchased the house from the Marquette Dental Fraternity’s national organization in 2003. Thankfully the craftsman detailing of the open stairs, the stained glass windows and the fireplaces survived the fraternal years. Since 2003 the home has been extensively renovated, featuring new bathrooms, a modern Craftsman-inspired kitchen, and restoration of the dining room wainscot. One of the owner’s favorite features of the home are the two large fireplaces.
One Added Story
My dad Elmer Kuhn and his brothers and sisters lived in this house for many years. Their mother, my grandmother, her madden name was Closterman . My grandfather and his brother owned and operated the American Candy Company . On the east side in Milwaukee.