Building Info

Judge Jason Downer House, 1201 N. Prospect Ave.
  • Address:
    1201 N. Prospect Ave.
  • Taxkey:
  • Architect:
    Edward Townsend Mix
  • Status:
  • Assessment:
    $1,146,000 (2015)
  • Year Built:
  • Size:
    6,630 sq-ft

Historic home on northeastern edge of downtown Milwaukee. The home is now used as offices and was home to information technology firm Symmetry until early 2015.

From the 1981 Landmarks Commission/Department of City Development report…

A favorite among local architectural historians is the picturesque former residence of Jason M. Downer built in 1874. A native of Vermont, Downer settled in Milwaukee in the early 1840s and later served as a Milwaukee Circuit Judge, and from 1864 to 1867 as Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Downer was well known for his keen interest in higher education and was a benefactor of the Wisconsin Female College at Fox Lake. Both he and his wife left sizable bequests to the institution, which ultimately transferred operations to Milwaukee and merged with Milwaukee College to become Milwaukee-Downer College.

The Downer house, an exuberant example of the Victorian Gothic, was designed by eminent Milwaukee architect Edward Townsend Mix. Asymmetrical in plan, it was constructed of cream birck and trimmed at the doors, windows and belt courses with incised patterns of light, cut-limestone. The eaves, overhangs and porch are decorated with heavy moldings and vergeboards of intricate milled woodwork. Steeply pitched gabled roofs enclose the attic story. Originally the home had two front entrance porches; the larger one has been removed.

When Mrs. Downer died in 1888 her will left the home to Immanuel Presbyterian Church, with the stipulation that it be used as a rest home and guesthouse for Protestant clergyman. Few changes had been made to both the exterior and interior until the building was in 1966 and converted into offices.

Photos

Press Releases Referencing Judge Jason Downer House