This building is known as the “Lion House” because of the pair of lions flanking the front steps. Though it bears a strong resemblance to a commercial building, it was actually built in 1897 as a home for George J. Koch shortly after his marriage to Amelia Millenbach of Detroit. Koch was a prominent banker and one of the founders of the West Side Bank.
The architect, Edward V. Koch, bears the same last name as the original owner but there was no relation. Koch designed the home in the Beaux Arts style. The unusual limestone foundation, known as an ‘English’ basement, has a much higher profile than typical homes of the Victorian era. The home is made of Cream City brick, trimmed with cut stone, and has a hip roof. The decorative trim is metal, which is an architectural a detail that again is more consistent with Victorian commercial buildings.
After almost 50 years as a home, the building went through several reincarnations beginning with a conversion in 1944 to multi-family apartments. It was later purchased by Concordia College and used for offices; subsequent owners extensively renovated the building after a fire in 1984. After completing recent renovations, the Forest County Potawatomi Community now own and maintain offices here including its Foundation offices.