Michael Horne
House Confidential

A Millionaire’s Neoclassical Mansion

$1.7 million East Side mansion where Fred Miller grew up is architectural gem.

By - Mar 3rd, 2017 11:30 am

$1.7 million East Side mansion where Fred Miller grew up is architectural gem. Back to the full article.

Photos - Page 2

5 thoughts on “House Confidential: A Millionaire’s Neoclassical Mansion”

  1. Thomas Gaudynski says:

    I believe the tenant was John Halvorson who ran an art and antique rummage there in the early 1970s.

  2. John says:

    So wish you’d been able to have pictures of the interiors. I used to live near Newberry in the 70s and that was always a great walk to have.

  3. Yes, Mr. Gaudynski. John Halvorson was the person cited by the authorities for the renegade rummage sales.

  4. Thomas Gaudynski says:

    As I suspected, Mr. Horne.

    In 1973 I was a 22 year old unemployed picture framer. Seeing a notice in the paper about “art and antique” rummage at the address on Newberry Blvd, I visited to be greeted at the door by John who announced, “everything is for sale except my bed.” The interior was like the cave where Ali Babba discovered the forty thieves’s treasure: full of oriental rugs, furniture, knick-knacks, prints and paintings. And the mansion’s interior was as magnificent as described (above) including the Tiffany stained glass window in the kitchen.

    Subsequently, I found a free-lance framing job working for John which I did for a while until he opened a gallery in the space which is now the BBC on North and Farwell, and I had found a full time job as a writer. During that time, I recall John hosting a party for Les Petite Bon Bons, and it was unclear who was more of an “art gangster”, Jerry Dreva or John Halvorson. I also recall a Calder mobile lying on the floor in the second story walkway between the house and garage.

    I insisted on being paid in cash, but when there wasn’t any, John might open a bottle of champagne to share and tell me to come back next week, and oh, would I frame these ten prints in the mean time. Other times, if I was paid enough, I would stop at Jack’s Record Rack where Comet Cafe is today, and pick up some cut-out LPs to play while I cut mattes at my parents home.

    I lost track of him then. Apparently, John went on to be praised by Jim Auer in the Milwaukee Journal in 1974 when he opened another gallery downtown. Following that, he seems to have made some mistakes in selling unauthenticated prints to the wrong people, and seems to have met his demise in the 1980s.

    A fascinating adventure.

  5. Nancy A says:

    Yes,poor John Halvorsen. He was very charming, but did seem to have a bit of a problem falsifying art. We had an antique shop on the eastside back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We sold John some huge wooden cut outs of Snow White and each of the 7 Dwarves. John promptly signed them all ” Walt Disney” !.
    I believe he died of a brain hemorrhage.

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