Ludwing Von Baumbach Residence
This residence is a mid twentieth century cream city brick house that has been extensively modified. According to the land title information, Ludwing Von Baumbach owned the house in 1880's, and then it changed hands in 1896, and then again in 1941, until Mike and Judith Howden purchased it in 1979.
The main entrance used to be on the second floor (not in use as an entrance nowadays), leading into a parlor room. To the right is now a wall behind which is another room. This wall has marks on it— remains of what used to be a door. These two rooms were perhaps public rooms for entertaining guests. A door, located on the wall directly opposite from the main entrance, opens into the hallway and stairs going down to the first floor. Right besides this door is a closet with a door that now swings into the parlor room. The hinge for this door shows that the door used to swing the other way— out of the parlor room. The marks of the old hinges can be seen on the other side of the door casing.
The Kiesslichs were the owners from 1896 till 1941. They added a backyard barn and a wider front porch. Kirby Goodman, the owner from 1941 to 1979, was a builder and he introduced further changes to the house. For instance, he added extensive woodwork. Some of the evidence of the original house is still observable, even if much is painted over. Other originals include an ornate fireplace and mantle in the first floor and a wooden floor upstairs.
There is a large living room on the first floor that seems to have been the main gathering place for the family. To its side is a dining room that opens into a kitchen with a service area beyond. A large backyard can be seen from the dining room and the living room. The current entrance is located at the back of the house.
The Howdens purchased the house in the late 1970's. They did few changes inside the house. They restored the original outside walls, removing the blue paint and exposing the cream city bricks. The Howdens also spent considerable time working on the yard that surrounds the house, removing layers of dirty soil and planting and transforming this space into an amazing garden. The house was sold to the Cuhels in 2014.
Mike and Judith Howden, interview by Leonardo Moises and Salman Hussain, June 2014.
H. Russell Zimmermann, "The Past in our Present: A West Side Story," Milwaukee Journal, August 18, 1968.