Michael Horne
House Confidential

Ald. Bauman’s Century-Old Home

Bob Bauman's house is 119 years old, with two fireplaces and one lonely bathroom.

By - Oct 12th, 2012 01:55 pm
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Southwest Corner

Ald. Bauman's house

When this single family house was built in 1893 it was within a couple of blocks of a streetcar line, which opened this west side neighborhood (now known as the Concordia neighborhood), to rapid development of Chicago-like density and provided speedy access to downtown.

Since 1997, when the dwelling sold for $38,000, it has been the home of Chicago native Robert J. Bauman, 60, who has served as 4th district alderman since his election in 2004 after a career as an attorney [Northwestern University ‘77] and owner of a firm that reconstructed railroad passenger cars and equipment. Although the streetcar is gone, (and there is no greater advocate of its return than Bauman), the property has a “very walkable” Walk Score of 73, which means Bauman can take care of most of his errands on foot until the train arrives. This includes getting to work at City Hall, which is just over 2 miles away, in under three-quarters of an hour.

The 2,113 square foot, two-story home has four bedrooms and two fireplaces, (but only one bathroom) and sits on a generous 50’ by 75’ lot, which alone is valued at $2,900, or about $1.30 per square foot.

The building itself  has seen considerable change in value since Bauman bought it, reaching a high of $101,900 in 2006-2008, and then decreasing steadily to $91,100 in 2009, $84,500 in 2010 and 2011, and down to a value of $68,300 in the 2012 assessment, bringing the total current land and improvement assessment to $71,200.

The taxes on this property, based on the 2011 assessment, total $2,169.34, which Bauman pays on the installment plan, with payments up-to-date, and only $168.51 away from being paid in full. There are no service requests, violations, special assessments or permits outstanding on the property, with the last of the latter dating to 1998 when some plumbing work was done, perhaps to get that lonely bathroom ready for its new occupant.

Bauman gets to vote for himself and others at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, just two blocks away at 3022 W. Wisconsin Avenue, where for the last 70 elections he cast a ballot, usually in person, although he voted absentee in the August primary, and once in 2011.

The Rundown

  • Style: Single-family
  • Location: Concordia neighborhood
  • Walk Score: 73
  • Public Transit Score: 56
  • Street Smart Walk Score: 81
  • Size: 2,113 sq ft
  • Year Built: 1893
  • Assessed Value: $71,200 (2012)

Fun Fact: Alderman Bauman was presented with the 31st annual Spaces & Traces Historic Preservation Award on May 17th as part of Historic Milwaukee’s Spaces & Traces event being held in the Concordia neighborhood.

How Milwaukee Is It? The house is 2.3 miles from Milwaukee City Hall.

Photo Gallery

House Confidential Street Smart Rankings

  1. Barry Mandel (87)
  2. Robert Bauman (81)
  3. Chris Abele (37)
  4. Scott Skiles (3)

 

22 thoughts on “House Confidential: Ald. Bauman’s Century-Old Home”

  1. victor ray says:

    the house looks great…fully restored from the outside. His house is not the only OLD house….Im restoring the William George Bruce house in Walkers Point -1896. Im glad to see that Bob can walk to everywhere….then why the Train Bob? The Train to nowhere….but it will cost us Milwaukeans plenty. Why not buy up homes that are in ruins on the Northside and bring families back to the neighborhood? Why not take that money and fix the pot holes that keep the wealthy from coming to the city to spend money? Why not use the money for youth programs that keeps our kids off the streets, and the guns away from them? Why not take the money and pay extra for a BETTER Chief of Police that cannot protect its people without inflicting harm and death to citizens, who is more worried about his next affair then assuring that the stats he provides are truthful. BOB I am glad you got a great house….it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling you feel for the people of Milwaukee.

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @victor Now I do know the streetcar won’t make it to Walker’s Point, yet, but The Train to nowhere is umm wrong. The streetcar will hit the most job density in Wisconsin, the highest population density in Wisconsin, a high hotel density, and numerous entertainment destinations in downtown Milwaukee, hardly nowhere.

    “Why not buy up homes that are in ruins on the Northside and bring families back to the neighborhood?” Can.’t But in fact the city has a couple of programs along these lines, in fact I believe Ald. Bauman sponsored one of them.

    “Why not take that money and fix the pot holes that keep the wealthy from coming to the city to spend money? ” Can’t (though I’ll point out as the track is laid roads will be repaved).

    “Why not use the money for youth programs that keeps our kids off the streets, and the guns away from them? ” Can’t (and I believe the city has a program that does this to some extent during the summer).

    “Why not take the money and pay extra for a BETTER Chief of Police that cannot protect its people without inflicting harm and death to citizens, who is more worried about his next affair then assuring that the stats he provides are truthful.” Can’t.

  3. victor ray says:

    David,
    thanks for your comments…..every question is a, CAN’T. I suppose you work for the City, Can you recommend a City that has a can-do attitude…..I might want to relocate!

  4. Dave Reid says:

    @victor I don’t work for the city. Urban Milwaukee! Anyhow It isn’t that the city doesn’t have a “can do attitude.” What I meant by ‘can’t’ is that your suggestion that the City of Milwaukee would used Federally allocated funds for something other than what they are allocated for can’t legally be done by the City of Milwaukee today.

  5. GT says:

    Im waiting for some Tea Partier to latch onto the line “Bauman gets to vote for himself and others” as a sign of voter fraud (ie Bob submits votes on behalf of others).

  6. Brenda Washburn says:

    What a gorgeous home! I only wish a little history of the architect and original owner would’ve been told. Thanks for all you do for our lovely city Ald. Bauman. The streetcar gets MY vote. I only use public transit when I travel to other cities. Love it or leave it. P.S. Shhh. There are a lot of wealthy people who live in/visit Milwaukee.

  7. BT says:

    The Concordia neighborhood is an interesting one that needs to be promoted more in pieces like this one. The housing stock in that area is excellent, they built a lot of really unique and intriguing homes in that area and I think a lot of it can certainly still be brought back to life. Of course, there will be some homes that after years of neglect and disrepair are just not economically feasible to resuscitate, but from what I have seen in that area, there are many that are still viable.

    I vote a definite “NO” on the streetcar! Not that I oppose any streetcar, I think it would be great if Milwaukee could have a functional rail system of some sort, be it heavier trains like in Chicago or some type of lighter rail. I haven’t seen a plan yet that makes sense for this area though and I certainly don’t want to spend $100++ million (with probably half of the money going underground to simply relocate utility lines-something of absolutely NO benefit to anyone!) on a streetcar that will run in a tiny circle around the downtown. Honestly, who’s life will be improved by that? Sure, it would be fun to ride for some bar-hopping on a Saturday night, it might be nice for some tourists to get around downtown, but in a time of budget crunches at all levels of government, is it worth spending $100+ million on? That’s just crazy! It reminds me of someone that gets too excited to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. They get so jazzed up and swept up in the moment that they are happy to spend (and waste) their money on ANYTHING and soon after have a lot of buyer’s remorse. Here in Milwaukee, its the same concept, it is just a group of the public that is so swept up in “rail mania”, they are so impressed by the idea of cities like Chicago, Washington DC, NYC, San Francisco, etc. having rail systems that they want their little Milwaukee to be in the “big leagues” too, so swept up that they will support ANY rail proposal, at ANY price, no matter how useless it really is!

  8. Dave Reid says:

    @BT “tiny circle around the downtown” umm the route runs from the Intermodal station up to the East Side. And yes the concept is to look towards the success of similar projects in other cities, and implement some of that in Milwaukee, no doubt at all.

  9. Jeff Jordan says:

    Victor, and the rest of the folks that don’t think Milwaukee is a “can do” city. The “can do” attitude your looking for is here. I moved here eight years ago to find it on every street corner and coffee shop in the city. This is a city recovering from successive blows to it’s economy and infrastructure that put it on a par with Katrina. But recovering it is, and it can be seen and documented for those to want to look and listen. No tens of thousands of factory jobs with living wages will not return, but thousands of jobs with better wages are returning. The City is finding it’s feet on more solid ground. Improvements in the 3rd Ward, Riverwest, Walkers Point, Bay View are spreading out as our new identity begins to reveal itself. If you don’t think things can be done take a look at what Common Grounds Milwaukee Rising Project is doing in Sherman Park.
    There are no silver bullets, and we all know that racism is the cloud that prevents most of the light from shinning. There is no nefarious plot to hold the city back, but in fact, there are politicians in this state that won’t help us solve our problems and we have to admit that and find ways to succeed despite them.
    No Victor, the City on the Third Coast is not perfect and moving the city forward involves a lot work, taking very small steps that add up to progress and having patience and perseverance.

  10. BT says:

    @Dave Reid-ummmmm ya, I knew exactly where the route is proposed to run and I still say it is a little circle around downtown. OK, if you want to be technical, I suppose you could say it touches the lower east side, runs through a smidgeon of the third ward, etc. but that’s really splitting hairs here. What I am still waiting to hear from ANYONE is a real listing of who would really benefit from this and when I say “benefit”, I mean is there anyone who’s life will really be improved by this silly little streetcar? “It would be cool to ride the trolley sometimes” does not qualify. Are there people who can now leave their cars at home because of it-NO, it doesn’t go anywhere the bus doesn’t go now. Like I said, we have a group of people that are in love with the idea of ANY kind of rail coming to Milwaukee and they will blindly support ANY rail proposal, even one as useless as this.

    I am not one of the people that would oppose any rail system either, in fact I think it would be great if Milwaukee could get a useful, functional and cost-effective rail system, which would be one that would connect most of the city as well as extend to some of the suburbs. Yet, I don’t think we are at the point yet where such a system makes sense dollar-wise. Now, if the federal government would change course and offer to subsidize such a system, maybe it could be economically feasible. Yet, people also forget that other than Portland, OR, the cities in the US that have rail systems are all a lot larger in population than the Milwaukee metro area.

    Also, what does the silly streetcar do to help those people living in the poorest parts of the city, as they are the people that could really benefit from expanding public transit? It does nothing! Funny how the ACLU is up in arms over the “racist” zoo interchange but they haven’t said a word about the “racist” streetcar.

  11. Jesse Hagen says:

    Yeah, I’ll be looking forward to the streetcar’s completion and expansion. I’m only seeing mindless partisans that contest the benefits, too numerous to list here.

    Also, what a great example of the homes in the Concordia neighborhood.

  12. BT says:

    @Jesse Hagen-No, please list off the benefits and if there really are too many to list, start with the top 25 or 100!!! I am still waiting to hear ANYONE give me what is a real benefit to the city. I have heard of MINOR benefits, like for tourists or people going out at night downtown, but honestly WHO will use it daily or even once a week? Please DO list the benefits!

    Trust me as well, I am not a “mindless partisan” or a tea-partier who opposes all rail and all public transit for that matter, I think we need more public transit, especially for the poorer areas of the city where the majority of residents really rely on public transit-this silly streetcar does NOTHING for them!

  13. Frank says:

    “Too numerous to list” and doesn’t even list one.

    :facepalm:

  14. Frank says:

    @ BT – I agree with everything that you have said. This whole thing just goes to show the insanity that has taken over politics. In my opinion, rail should only be built on roads that are designated as County Hwys. Roads like Wisconsin Ave/Bluemound (Hwy.18) or Fond du Lac Ave. (Hwy. 145) etc etc. You made a good point about the ACLU. I have even pondered that thought in the past… where are they? One would figure that the inner city would benefit greatly by having rail run through their neighborhoods. But they only complain about a state project for some reason. Go figure… right?

  15. BT says:

    @Frank-Yes, I’m still waiting to hear even ONE of the “numerous” reasons why the silly streetcar would be worth spending $100+ million on and I think I will be waiting for quite a while! No, being able to hop from a bar in the Third Ward to one by Cathedral Square on a trolley does not count as a great reason, either-it might be a plus, but not a good reason to spend that kind of money.

    I was in Atlanta recently and used their rail system, which is nice, but then the Atlanta metro area has more than 5 million residents, compared to our 1.5 million or so.

  16. Dave Reid says:

    @BT / Frank I’m guessing Jesse isn’t spending Sunday online… But I here I am. Economic development, increased density, reduce parking needs, improved accessibility, improved quality of service, increased transit ridership, expanded transit service. And it isn’t purely total population that makes transit work, it is the density of that population. And Milwaukee is far more dense than numerous cities with various forms of rail.

  17. You are absolutely right, rational and reasonable, Dave. Opponents of rail transit cannot find any instances of 21st century (the one we live in!) failure of recently implemented street rail systems in any US city regardless of population. They often resort instead to name-calling and preposterous challenges in unrelated forums, such as this one about an Alderman’s house, for crying out loud.
    The economics of Urban Milwaukee life are many-faceted and complex. Their arguments are simplistic.
    And ponder this: real estate developers like transit because it will eventually reduce the number of parking spaces required in new development. This expense is a deal-killer in most instances, which is why developers turn to the city for bonding new private parking structures in order to provide the number of spaces mandated by the city’s auto-centric building code.
    Give us transit and give us density, and we need no longer build or subsidize these extravagant Urban-killing behemoth structures.

  18. Frank says:

    @ Dave – All the reasons that you have listed are good reasons to have rail within the inner city (an area that needs economic development). When you say that there will be increased ridership… well, that is just an assumption. I don’t see who in the East Town area will be riding the train. The train should be built in areas that already have dedicated mass transit users. Building a new system in an area which is not well known for mass transit needs sounds like something that will need to be subsidized. And concerning the parking needs… the east side and upper east side of Milwaukee is the area that is mostly lacking any parking. Not downtown.

    @ Mr. Horne – How more development can an area handle when the area is already fully developed? The “urban-killing behemoth structures” are that way because they were designed poorly. By your logic… taxpayers should flip the bill for corporate developments? If an area cannot sustain such a development… then develop it somewhere else.

  19. Dave Reid says:

    @Frank “All the reasons that you have listed are good reasons to have rail within the inner city (an area that needs economic development).” This is true the inner city would benefit from a line, but that does not invalidate this line. And well that is part of the future plan. This line hits the job center, the highest population centers, activity centers, and hotels but also has spots prime for development that this will assist in. In fact there a spots that have been vacant or under utilized for decades that this line hits.

    “When you say that there will be increased ridership… well, that is just an assumption.” Call it whatever you want but systems like this have increased the transit ridership pool in other cities, so I’m not sure why we would expect otherwise.

    “I don’t see who in the East Town area will be riding the train.” Well for one I will.

    “The train should be built in areas that already have dedicated mass transit users. Building a new system in an area which is not well known for mass transit needs sounds like something that will need to be subsidized. ” Umm this area has some of the highest transit use in Milwaukee. And I’ll just add that all transportation is subsidized, all.

    “And concerning the parking needs… the east side and upper east side of Milwaukee is the area that is mostly lacking any parking. Not downtown.” I agree downtown has more than enough parking, but we continue to subsidize and build new parking garages downtown, this is just one piece of the puzzle but it will alleviate the pressure. Finally, it does hit the East Side.

  20. BT says:

    I live on the east side and this trolley comes nowhere near my house, by having one end of it skim what some people call the east side doesn’t by any means mean that it serves the east side. I used to run a very successful business right in the middle of downtown and right on the proposed trolley line and I know that few of the business owners in that area are looking forward to this thing, especially because it will TAKE AWAY parking spaces! How exactly does this trolley give us more parking anyway? Please give me an example of someone who currently has a car in the downtown area (so, it would have to either be someone who lives downtown and owns a car or someone who visits downtown regularly) that now will not have to bring their car into downtown anymore-I don’t see it happening! What, someone who lives downtown with a car will decide that they can now sell their car because of the trolley? The trolley that goes nowhere the bus doesn’t currently run, doesn’t do it any faster, etc.

    The other point that all of the people foaming at the mouth for anything on rails always skip over is that that this trolley does not get funded in a vacuum. The $100+ million has to come from somewhere. I know part of it is a federal thing, but why don’t we use that money for our bus service, something that is functional and is always being cut?

    Last I saw, economic development loks to be ding just fine downtown, on the east side, in the third ward, while on the near north side of town, NOTHING happens without heavy government subsidies and even then its not much. If you want to spur development, do it there! (and again, where is the ACLU on this, suing to stop the “racist” zoo interchange of all things!)

  21. Begonia says:

    You guys are all talking, but not listening to each other. I think you all agree more than you disagree.

    Transit advocates unfortunately tend to get attached to certain *technologies* (street car vs rail vs bus), as Jarrett Walker points out on his blog: http://www.humantransit.org/2011/12/outtake-on-endearing-but-useless-transit.html

    Unfortunately transit advocates (or transit detractors) attachment to (or disdain for) certain transit technologies leads them to circular discussions like the one you are having right now. And it clouds their judgement at what actually matters: improving transit speeds, frequency, building networks, *regardless of the type of vehicle used*.

    And if you like Jarrett Walker’s blog, I recommend you read his book: Human Transit.

  22. flyonthewall says:

    Well, we have money for one technology, rail.

    It’s against the law to use it for other uses. It’s a little naive to assume that this is mere squabbling over how to improve transit, when it’s really a move to draw controversy & sow disagreement about building the streetcar.

    They say “first we have to cancel the existing plans, 2nd we have this great other option to do”

    Well, I’m sure they’re earnest about canceling the streetcar but somehow they’ll never get around to that other great option. In the end we’re left with less not more.

    We can see this play out in transit locally or with Mitt on his plans for Obamacare (repeal & replace). It’s the same tactic replayed over & over. Don’t fall for the false controversy or the outlandish promises they make out of desperation, the streetcar will begin construction soon enough… we should focus on which routes to add to the starter system.

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