Jeramey Jannene
House Confidential

Inside Abele’s Eschweiler Mansion

See the 1927 home's interior from when it was new, and just before Abele bought it.

By - Jun 1st, 2019 02:39 pm
Albright Mansion Interior. Photo from the Milwaukee County Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Albright Mansion Interior. Photo from the Milwaukee County Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele created quite a stir this week by submitting a demolition permit for a historic mansion overlooking Lake Michigan in Shorewood.

Abele, as first reported by my colleague Michael Horne, acquired the house for $2.6 million in November and now intends to demolish it. Designed by famed architect Alexander C. Eschweiler, the 9,762-square-foot home is not protected by a local historic designation.

Abele and his fiancé Jennifer Gonda plan to replace the house, built in 1927, with one that “respects and honors [the neighborhood],” Abele has promised. The new home will be designed by Northworks Architects.

In a statement, a representative of Abele’s contractor Barenz Builders said the home was in need of substantial repair. “I’ve worked on numerous properties over the years and this one was in remarkably poor condition,” said Barenz president Ronny Barenz. The contractor said he understood the property sat on the market for three years because of uncertainty with renovation costs.

The home was built for Dr. Charles E. Albright and his wife Laura Uihlein Albright (1877-1967), an heiress to the Schlitz Brewing Co. fortune. Although trained as a medical doctor, Albright worked for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. as its assistant Medical Director and as a salesman.

Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity‘s ReStore team has been in the house over the past week salvaging various elements, many of which are now for sale at ReStore in Wauwatosa.

But you can see now see the house in its original glory and what it looked like before Abele took possession from its longtime owners, the Hambrook family.

Photos, provided to Urban Milwaukee by the Milwaukee County Historical Society (MCHS) and the Hambrook family, show the house almost a century ago and just a few months ago.

Hambrook Family Photos

MCHS Photos

Exterior Photos

One thought on “House Confidential: Inside Abele’s Eschweiler Mansion”

  1. Duane says:

    What a horrible interior, the craftsmanship is terrible, I doubt that there are even enough electrical outlets and cable jacks. It would be torture for Abele to have to live in this abomination. (Which begs the question why did he even buy it then ?) Sometimes being too rich resembles some kind of mental disease, just my opinion.

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