Gustav Trostel House

2611 N. Terrace Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Flamboyant Gothic Revival house resembling a Eurpean castle

Photos 

Overview Looking South

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in May 2014

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Description 

Gustav Trostel was the heir to the family tannery, located on the Milwaukee River, not far from here. Trostel's house has been modestly described as flamboyantly German, it is a fairy tale castle with decor of limestone, copper, stained glass, Terra Cotta and decorative ironwork by noted local artisan, Cyril Colnik.

Adolph Finkler was a Chicago architect. He married Gustav's sister, Ida Trostel, and he became the secretary-treasurer of the Albert Trostel & Sons, guaranteeing a far better salary than he ever would have made as an architect. Liebert went on to a successful career as an architect in Copper Country of Upper Michigan, then later in Chicago. This is the only project Liebert did in Milwaukee, but he also designed the (now demolished) Linden High School in Linden, Wisconsin and the Medford Free Public Library in Medford, Wisconsin. He also designed Mather Hall (1937) at Kansas City University in Kansas City, Kansas.

Liebert made the connection for the Trostel House through his brother, Eugene, who began his career at the Trostel tannery. See Eugene R. Trostel category for a brief biography of Eugene Trostel. While his brother Hans, and Finkler did the main design work, Eugene designed the 25'x35' barn on the property.

Note the medieval German timber construction on the third floor.

The Trostel mansion was cutting edge. The entire house was wired, although there was no electrical service to the Northpoint neighborhood. The light fixtures were dual electrical and gas in anticipation of the neighborhood eventually being wired.

At the time of its construction, there were few houses in the area because it was considered too far away from town to be practical. Light from the North Point Lighthouse flashed into the second story rooms. This once "too remote" home is eight miles inside the Milwaukee city limits!

Update Log 

  • May 20, 2014: Added by J.R. Manning

Sources 

  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net