Alexander Mitchell’s Conservatory, Mid-1870s
The fabulously wealthy business man created an unusual, two-story conservatory within his home.
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.