Within the neighborhood, we call this the Tower House, and an image of this distinctive home has been the logo for Historic Concordia Neighbors for years.
Built of cream city brick on an acre of land, the history of this house is somewhat unclear. It was the residence of Dr. Robert Fairies, the first dentist to open a practice in Milwaukee, from 1850-1854. Some historians believe that the original structure may have been a farmhouse that Dr. Fairies remodeled into this structure. During that remodeling, he may have added the flat roof to use as an observation deck to pursue his interest in astronomy (he constructed the first telescope in the state). It’s believed the house was sold to Sidney Rood, a bookstore and bindery owner, sometime around 1854. Rood sold in 1863 to Philetus Yale, a tailor, and clothier. Yale may have been responsible for the changes to the house which resulted in its current distinctive exterior including the expanded tower, Mansard-like roof, dormers, and the west wing.
The home has undergone several reincarnations in its lifetime. From a family home until 1947, to offices for the Milwaukee Bible Institute (1947 to 1960), then offices of Concordia College (1960 to 1987), and then law offices. It became a single-family dwelling again in the 1990s. The Historic Concordia Neighborhood is grateful for the preservation of this neighborhood landmark.