Michael Horne
House Confidential

Scott Walker’s Tiny Tosa Turf

The small colonial is one-twentieth the size of the Governor's Mansion, with a sadly neglected yard and fence.

By - Sep 15th, 2013 03:05 pm
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Does the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue run past 520 N. 68th St.? At least one resident of this Wauwatosa home probably hopes so — and I bet her husband does, too.

This is the homestead of Scott Kevin Walker and his wife Tonette Marie Tarantino Walker. They are the Governor and First Lady of Wisconsin, and have lived here since they bought the residence for $310,000 on February 28th, 2007 after it had spent 261 days on the market.

The Walkers share the home with their two sons, Matthew and Alex.

The City of Wauwatosa is conflicted as to the date of the home’s construction, listing it as either 1918 or 1924.

This was the era of early suburban expansion, where folks like A. E. Voss, the first owner, would purchase tidy stucco homes on vast [by central city standards] quarter-acre lots like this one in Wellauer’s Addition No.2.

Convenience to public transportation was a stimulus to the development of this neighborhood located just blocks from the streetcar line.

Scott Walker's Wauwatosa Home

Scott Walker’s Wauwatosa Home

“Near Public Transit,” the City Assessor’s file on the Walker residence notes approvingly. To this day, the #76 bus runs right past Scott Walker’s driveway with its ubiquitous state trooper squad parked there.

There is “Heavy Fronting Traffic” just west of the 37 foot setback of the home where a decidedly urban sidewalk runs like a concrete pedestrian superhighway along busy N. 68th St.

The pedestrian who pauses to scrutinize the governor’s home may have to produce ID for the trooper, as did the House Confidential photographer.

But an inspection of the photos show that Governors’ teenage sons are apparently exempted from the domestic responsibilities typical of their peers. Here a tottering wooden fence begs to be whitewashed before rot overcomes it; there a line of Hostas remains un-deadheaded weeks after their blooms have expired; shrubs and trees are untrained, potted flowers languish, the lawn turns to dust and the whole begs for water to pour forth from the neglected hose.

Yet for all of this, the bureaucrats at the Wauwatosa City Hall rate the landscape as “Same as Neighboring.” This is an affront to the neighbors!

In front of the home, a pole light fixture attempts to provide decorative illumination, yet only one of its three branches glows, while the other two have burnt out.

Question: How many governor’s sons does it take to change a lightbulb?

About the House

The first family of Wisconsin have a full, “unfinished” basement of 816 square feet underpinning their home. The subterranean level includes a half-bath and shower in the basement. The first floor consists of 896 square feet shared with an attached 2-car garage. The living room, dining room and sunroom all have oak floors, while the living room and dining room are graced with birch trim. Hard pine covers the floors of the home’s 4 bedrooms. The kitchen is “Average,” as is the home’s exterior condition. The interior is “same as exterior” as to condition, with “Good Bathrooms.” The two full baths include a shower over tub, a shower stall, a vanity and a whirlpool for the governor to wash his cares away. There are 13 plumbing fixtures total in the whole house! A natural wood fireplace helps the gas-fired, hot-water heating system keep the governor’s home toasty through the chilly winter, while a central air conditioning system installed in 2005 for $13,731 keeps the home cool in summer when zephyrs from Arkansas turn Wauwatosa East to toast.

Probably the coolest feature of the home is the 12 foot by 20 foot in-ground pool installed way back in 1983. Maybe the boys take care of that as part of their chores.

After all, this is not the Executive Residence, their home in Madison with its 20,000 square feet, 34 rooms, 13 bathrooms and 7 bedrooms and fireplaces, along with a staff of 8 to keep things in order like whitewashing the fence, trimming hostas and swapping out burnt light bulbs. Kids these days.

The property is assessed at $79,600 for the land and $280,300 for the improvements for a total valuation of $359,900. The city calculates a fair market value on the home of $294,200, down from its 2006 high of $325,000, shortly before the Walkers purchased it. Taxes are $7,301.77 and are paid in full.

About Scott Walker

In January 2017 when the moving vans will pull out of this future presidential house museum on N. 68th Street bearing the Walker family’s earthly goods to the White House they will likely head east on W. Bluemound Road, just around the corner.

On the way to Washington the cavalcade will pass the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Union Local 215, the Teamsters Local 200, the Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO, and the Communications Workers of America Local 4603 all based on that major street.

Scott Walker will have vanquished them once again as he heads to shape the nation in Wisconsin’s image.

This projection is a fantasy, but it is not nearly so fantastic as it might have seemed just four years ago when Walker was reinventing Milwaukee County as the first Republican to hold the non-partisan office of County Executive. Even then there was a sense that Walker had his eyes on a greater prize than the state’s largest county; after an abortive attempt to run for governor in the 2006 primaries, Walker ran and won in 2010 on a program of jobs, 250,000 of them to be precise.

He was no sooner in office, though, than legislative initiatives never discussed during the election were front-burner topics of great and immediate import. [Even before taking office, Walker turned down $800 million of rail transit aid.]

Busting the unions was an issue that was never discussed during the election, but led the list of initiatives passed by the legislature. This caused a rebellion in the state, and forced a recall election for Walker, which he survived, now as a national figure who had raised unlimited sums from donors in every state, and made so many new buddies.

Walker has since spent much of his term travelling widely giving speeches and raising money at conservative forums throughout the country. He is frequently mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2016.

Fun Fact

The home was owned from 1994 to 2005 by Anthony Tarantino, Jr., who apparently is not the same Anthony Tarantino as Tonette Walker’s father, who died in Spring 2013.

The Rundown

  • Style: Colonial
  • Location: City of Wauwatosa
  • Neighborhood: The Charles Jacobus Park Neighborhood Association includes this home in its boundaries.
  • Subdivision: Wellauer’s Addition No.2
  • Walk Score: 65 out of 100. “Somewhat Walkable” Some errands can be accomplished on foot like heading around the corner a couple of blocks to Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn in Milwaukee. The Governor’s mansion has a Walk Score of 75, while the White House scores a 94.
  • Street Smart Walk Score: 63
  • Public Transit Score: 45 out of 100. “Some Transit” This includes the #76 bus right in front of the home. Every square inch of the paved area here is occupied by cars. Of course, with the State Patrol officer blocking them in, maybe the bus is a good idea to get the Walker sons to their Young Republican meetings at Marquette University.
  • Size: 2,420 square feet.
  • Year Built: Either 1918 or 1924 according to conflicting records in City Hall.
  • Assessed Value: Land — $79,600; Improvements — $280,300Total — $359,900
  • Taxes: $7,301.77, paid in full.

How Milwaukee Is It?

City Hall is a little over 5 miles away. The Executive Residence in Madison is 71 miles away. The Walker Family’s future home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. is 794 miles away by car; 828 miles away by bus and train.

Photo Gallery

House Confidential Street Smart Rankings

  1. Herb Kohl (97)
  2. Latrell Sprewell (96)
  3. Beth Weirick (95)
  4. Mark Belling (94)
  5. Michael D. Drescher (94)
  6. Ryan Braun (94)
  7. Mark Attanasio (93)
  8. Barry Mandel (93)
  9. Drew Gooden (92)
  10. Don Smiley (91)
  11. 2013 Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse (91)
  12. José G. Pérez (90)
  13. Gregory Thornton (90)
  14. Ian Abston (90)
  15. Andy Nunemaker (89)
  16. Mike Jacobs (89)
  17. Dr. Hermann Viets (88)
  18. Jeff Joerres (87)
  19. Jim Wiechmann (86)
  20. Hotel Shepard (82)
  21. Brandon Jennings (82)
  22. Nik Kovac (82)
  23. Marina Dimitrijevic (81)
  24. Robert Bauman (81)
  25. Bob Donovan (70)
  26. Robert Greenstreet (68)
  27. Rocky Marcoux (68)
  28. Scott Walker (63)
  29. Tom Barrett (63)
  30. Sue Black (61)
  31. Brian Taffora (57)
  32. Tim Sullivan (49)
  33. Julia Taylor (40)
  34. Chris Abele (37)
  35. Margaret Connolly Flint (31)
  36. Grant Langley (12)
  37. David A. Clarke, Jr. (11)
  38. Allan Huber “Bud” Selig (5)
  39. Scott Skiles (3)
  40. John W. Daniels, Jr. (2)
  41. Willie G. Davidson (0)

11 thoughts on “House Confidential: Scott Walker’s Tiny Tosa Turf”

  1. Maurice says:

    This is not new news. All the Walker stalker liberal wackos have driven by his home many, many, many times

  2. Patrick says:

    His kids are in college so put that to rest. You could have at least stalked his twitter feed, like a good stalker, and have figured that they are empty nesters. Those problems are all normal. Two burnt out bulbs? I bet half the homes in this state have burnt bubs outside. This home makes him look normal.

  3. Eric says:

    Yeah…his house and yard look horrible! Seriously? I’m sure his neighbors yards are bright and green given the dry, middle of the summer timing of the photos. Maybe he should use some taxpayer money and hire a landscaper, right? Or maybe he should take a day off from doing his job as Governor and come home and weed his garden instead! I’m sure his yard is important to him but perhaps the state of Wisconsin is just a little bit more important than his yard! Move on…

  4. Mike Meagher says:

    Horne has sunk to a new low.

  5. Eric —

    I would never suggest the governor should take a day off and weed his garden, but it sounds like a good idea. I did say that his kids should get some chores done. Sorry, but I have to go now and do some landscaping at my mother’s.

  6. Tim says:

    I’ll be dead-heading my hostas tonight… seriously.

    Are we sure the Walker family hasn’t abandoned the property? Or will they keep it as the old family homestead?

  7. Susan says:

    This is most likely due to the fact that Walker spends almost no time in Wisconsin. He isn’t governing, he is out fundraising. The state has never been so deeply divided and we are sorely lagging behind the nation in economic recovery. His deadheading is the least of his, and our problems.

  8. Toni Mikel says:

    I live in Arkansas on 10 acres covered in expensive timber and live in a 2001 built framed house and 2 garage and I have to say…why the hell is it worth $369,900?!
    Sure I don’t have good schools here, no sidewalks out in countryside but I have wildlife, deer, turkey, birds galore
    What makes Wisconsin property so astronomical? What is the average blue collar income there?

  9. #8 Toni —

    One reason the property is so “astronomical” is that we have highly segregated suburbs here with their own school districts. People pay much more for a home like this one in lily-white Wauwatosa than they would pay for a comparable one (and there are hundreds) just a few blocks away in the City of Milwaukee.

  10. Andy says:

    @Michael – Your race-baiting aside, most people who have kids understand a parents desire to provide the best education possible for their child. Is it so odd to you that many people would pay more to send their children to a better school system?

    @Toni – Wauwatosa is a centrally located inner ring suburb. As Mr. Horne points out, it has a great school sytem in addition to close-knit dense neighborhoods, is very walkable, has excellent housing stock, and much more. It combines the best of what the city and the ‘burbs have to offer. Because of that, housing prices are higher then you may find in Milwaukee proper (although not THAT much higher, just look at a similar size/style house to walkers in Washington Heights and you’ll see it’s in the same range)

  11. Andy says:

    So, his parents are on the street?

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