Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Alexander Mitchell’s Conservatory, Mid-1870s

The fabulously wealthy business man created an unusual, two-story conservatory within his home.

By - Oct 15th, 2014 02:07 pm
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Interior of Alexander Mitchell’s Mansion, Mid-1870s. Image courtesy of Jeff Beutner.

The conservatory in Alexander Mitchell’s mansion, mid-1870s. Image courtesy of Jeff Beutner.

Perhaps because it was the home of one of Milwaukee’s wealthiest citizens, the mansion of Alexander Mitchell was rather well-documented. We have previously published a striking lithograph  of the home and its grounds and a period photo of the exterior of the mansion. This week we move to its interior.

The interior of the Mitchell mansion was appointed with fine woodwork and some exceptional ornamental hardware. Clearly cost was no consideration.

But perhaps the most interesting part of the home was the two-story conservatory. This W.H. Sherman stereo view photo from the mid-1870s shows the interior of the conservatory, a lush jungle of tropical palms. Note the lovely arced windows and the use of ornamental iron. This was the Mitchell’s refuge from the gritty city, and from Milwaukee’s often-wintry climate.

Jeff Beutner is a collector of photographs, postcards and stereoviews of old Milwaukee. This column features these images, with historical commentary by Beutner.

One thought on “Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Alexander Mitchell’s Conservatory, Mid-1870s”

  1. Gary says:

    Hey! If a new stadium was built on the site of the public library, they could build a skywalk over 9th Street to connect the luxury boxes to the Wisconsin Club (and parking underground adjacent to the freeway for quick entry and exit).

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