Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Gokhman House Sails Through Commission

New design met with universal approval by Historic Preservation Commission.

By - Nov 4th, 2019 04:48 pm
Shuk House rendering. Rendering by Korb + Associates Architects.

Shuk House rendering. Rendering by Korb + Associates Architects.

Developer Tim Gokhman‘s revised plan for a new home at 2381 N. Terrace Ave. in the city’s North Point Historic District was met with unanimous approval from the Historic Preservation Commission on Monday afternoon.

Gokhman, who would build a home for himself, another for business partner Ann Shuk and a third for sale, changed plans after his earlier proposal had run into opposition from the Historic Preservation Commission. The commission has oversight over the proposed homes because they are to be built within the boundaries of the historic district.

“I think this looks great,” said Alderman Robert Bauman. “I agree this is a very nice design,” added commission chair Marion Clendenen-Acosta.

“This new submittal addresses the prior concerns of the Historic Preservation Commission and presents a more traditional design that is compatible with other houses in the historic district by way of scale, massing and height. It is not a copy of any historic house but uses traditional forms with contemporary touches,” reads the commission’s staff report.

Architect Jason Korb of Korb + Associates Architects is leading the design of the properties.

The developer, director of New Land Enterprises, appeared before the commission twice this summer with plans for the first home. At the commission’s September meeting, Clendenen-Acosta read a letter from the commissioners into the record that called for Gokhman to consider changing material types, create a “strong vertical emphasis” and adjust the amount of fenestration to match other homes in the district.

Gokhman, in September, said that the submitted design, a distinctly modern two-story home with a flat roof and porte cochere, would have difficulty adapting to the commission’s desires. “There are certain things this design just can’t do,” said Gokhman. “You can’t just throw a pitched roof on this design. If we were to include a pitched roof we would have to start over, which is potentially an avenue.”

Gokhman and Korb did just that, starting over with an entirely new design. The new, 3,670-square-foot design is a brick-clad structure with a pitched roof that presents itself as a three-story home. The porte cochere is maintained, but is now supported on both sides instead of cantilevering over the driveway. A rear garage, not visible from the street, would include a green roof and the home would have solar panels.

Commission staff member Carlen Hatala characterized the proposal as “contemporary in design, but compatible with the historic district.”

Margaret Howland, who lives in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house on the street, asked questions of Korb who was in attendance at the hearing.

“I’m worried about the longevity,” said Howland. “How long in this climate are the materials going to last?” She said Gokhman’s current house in the Beerline neighborhood is showing wear. She also raised concerns about light bleeding out from a skylight and the porte cochere.

“The house is 75 percent modular face brick. It doesn’t get much more durable than that,” said Korb. He said he didn’t believe his client intended to uplight the skylight and that lighting from the porte cochere would be minimal and not leave the property. Howland told the commission she was satisfied with Korb’s response.

At Bauman’s request, Korb agreed to remove an approximately three-foot-tall planter along the sidewalk. Bauman said it could block visibility from the driveway. “That’s a change we could very easily accommodate,” said Korb.

The commission unanimously approved the new design, empowering the commission staff to review the building materials as the project moves to construction.

The two developers, who are each married, have children of similar age and chose the site as part of an effort to find houses near Milwaukee Public Schools’ Maryland Avenue Montessori School.

The first home would be for Shuk. The second home, for which design approval is still needed, would be for Gokhman’s family.

The site was created following the completion of Ascension‘s 2005 redevelopment plan for the St. Mary’s hospital.


Earlier Renderings

Site Photos

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Related Legislation: File 190387

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