Michael Horne
Plenty of Horne

Royal Right Wing Renovation

Bradley Foundation's third 19th century building, the Bloodgood Residence, will be renovated. And three candidates announce for open county supervisor seat.

By - Jun 2nd, 2014 08:15 am
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email
Bloodgood Residence, 1139 E. Knapp St.

Bloodgood Residence, 1139 E. Knapp St.

A 19th century Yankee Hill landmark owned by the conservative Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. and rented by a conservative legal group is set to get a big-ticket exterior renovation designed by a foundation board member.

A Certificate of Appropriateness for exterior renovations at the Bloodgood Residence, 1139 E. Knapp St., in the First Ward Triangle Historic District, was approved May 12th by the Historic Preservation Commission. The renovations are preliminary to a planned expansion of the 1896 “mansion with commercial usage.” The 6,600 square foot building has three offices and a 2,200 sq. ft. 3-bedroom apartment. At least one of the offices is the headquarters of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which seeks “to advance the public interest in the rule of law, individual liberty, constitutional government, and a robust civil society,” mostly via litigation. It is run by Rick Esenberg, who often seems to be in step with the Bradley Foundation (the nation’s leading funder of conservative policymaking)  in the issues he pursues. The Institute received $250,000 from the foundation in calendar year 2012, which should more than cover its $38,000 annual rent.

The restoration, based on plans by David V. Uihlein, Jr., AIA, calls for reconstructing the building’s envelope using existing historic materials. It is the most exacting, time-consuming and expensive type of building preservation construction.

Uihlein is the principal at Uihlein-Wilson Architects, and is the grandson of Harry Bradley. He also serves on the board of the Bradley foundation, with $615 million in assets at end-of-year 2012. That’s plenty of money to do a first-class job on the home, which has suffered wear-and-tear over the years, including a “failed central portion of the [east] facade.”

This will be rebuilt by “removing and reinstalling the existing brick and terra cotta,” which is not a project for first-time masons. The rest of the east facade will be cleaned and tuckpointed, and all vines creeping up the wall shall be removed.

Historic Image of house with clay tile roof.

Historic Image of house with clay tile roof.

The roof will be “re-shingled with asphalt shingles…[!]”

Wait, it goes on: “…as a precursor to the future provision of clay roofing tiles.”

The future clay roofing tiles will presumably also be used in a proposed addition to the west of the building, which was approved by the HPC in 2011.

Accordingly, “minimal work is planned for this elevation as a future addition will require demolition of the entire wall.”

The Bloodgood Home is one of three contiguous properties assembled by the Bradley Foundation, beginning with its 1995 purchase of its headquarters, the 1852 “Lion House” at 1241 N. Franklin Pl. for $750,000. The foundation hired Uihlein to expand and renovate the property interior and out to 1860s vintage. It houses a large collection of Wisconsin art, on loan from the Milwaukee Art Museum. The building is tax exempt.

The foundation also owns the Hawley House at 1249 N. Franklin Pl. It bought the property in 1999 for $518,000, and used Uihlein to renovate it. It, too, is tax-exempt.

The foundation bought the Bloodgood home in November 2011 for $700,000. It is assessed at $74,700 for the land and $647,300 for the improvements, for a total of $722,000. The property is taxable (at least for now), and the bill of $22,141.21 is paid in full.

Wall Street Journal Columnist to Claim Bradley Prize

Kimberley A. Strassel, the “Potomac Watch” columnist for the Wall Street Journal, has been named as a recipient of a 2014 Bradley Prize. She will receive her honor, along with a $250,000 check from the Milwaukee-based foundation on Wednesday, June 18th, at the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center in Washington. The event will take 90 minutes. There will be no intermission. This is the 11th annual such a presentation. Previous media awardees include George F. Will (now a Bradley board member), Roger Ailes and Charles Krauthammer. The foundation usually announces 3 or 4 winners annually, so more may be on the way.

Three Vie for Supervisor Spot

The three candidates who took out nomination papers to succeed now-Alderman Russell Stamper II as 5th District county supervisor have until Monday, June 2nd at 5 p.m. to return between 200-400 valid signatures apiece.

The three are:

  • Virginia Rainey Pratt, a former probation and parole officer with the state whose Facebook page announces, “I am looking for a job!” In 2012 she ran unsuccessfully as a Republican write-in candidate to replace now-Sen. Barbara Toles in the 17th District assembly seat.
  • Martin Weddle, who describes himself as a “Football Coach, Chess Instructor, Golf Coach, Recreational Specialist at Journey House,” on his LinkedIn page.
  • Charlie Fox, a long-term care consultant and advocate with former leadership development responsibilities at the ACLU. Fox said he worked hard for the Stamper for Alderman campaign, and that he has Stamper’s endorsement to replace him on the county board.

The special election for the 5th District — which extends from downtown to the near northwest side, will be held in conjunction with the August 12th primary and the November 4th general election.

On the Lecture Circuit

I will be on the lecture circuit Wednesday, June 4th at Shaker’s Cigar Lounge, 422 S. 2nd St. The topic will be the history of Milwaukee’s Pridefest and Pride Parade.

Pridefest is June 6th-8th at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park.

The parade kicks off June 8th at 2:00 p.m. at S. 2nd St. and W. Lapham Blvd. and heads due north one mile on S. 2nd St. until its end at W. Oregon St., passing Shaker’s along the way. With its direct route, it deserves the title of “America’s Straightest Gay Parade.”

The reviewing stand is at Fluid, 819 S. 2nd St. where Lizzie Bordeaux will emcee.

My talk next Wednesday will begin about 7:30 p.m. I will discuss the history of the two events, their evolution, and the gradual mainstreaming of the LBGT culture into the fabric of the Walkers Point neighborhood over three decades. It will be J. B. Van Hollen‘s biggest nightmare.

I’ll probably have some other things to chat about, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about things that interest you.

The event is free and open to the public. Cigar smoking is permitted.

One thought on “Plenty of Horne: Royal Right Wing Renovation”

  1. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Nice job the foundation will do, but it is really a moderate foundation since Mike Joyce left.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us