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Wisconsin's Only Griffin Home Headed To Sheriff's Auction

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Nov 11, 2014 01:08 AM
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by Eric last modified Nov 10, 2014

We've reported in the past on the perilous future of the only Walter Burley Griffin-designed house in the state of Wisconsin, the Charles Livingston Jenks summer home (1907) in Walworth County. Over the weekend we received word from Bill Densmore that the home is headed to sheriff's sale and could be lost to developers. Read more after the jump... Bill Densmore writes: "I'm a journalist, I live in Williamstown, Mass., and I'm married to Betsy...




 

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 7.29.53 AMWe've reported in the past on the perilous future of the only Walter Burley Griffin-designed house in the state of Wisconsin, the Charles Livingston Jenks summer home (1907) in Walworth County. Over the weekend we received word from Bill Densmore that the home is headed to sheriff's sale and could be lost to developers. Read more after the jump...

Bill Densmore writes:

"I'm a journalist, I live in Williamstown, Mass., and I'm married to Betsy E. Johnson. Betsy is one of 11 members of the Lawrence Johnson family that share ownership in "Keystone Cottage," what we believe may be the only example of a resident lake cottage in Wisconsin designed by Walter Burley Griffin.  

Because of difficulties in the family resolving future ownership and upkeep of the cottage, it has been scheduled to be sold at a sherriff's auction on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 10 a.m. near Elkhorn, Wis.  The highest qualified bidder will prevail.  My wife and I, and several other family bidders, are concerned that most buyers may be inclined to raze the cottage and build a contemporary home on the stunning lot (it is on a point between two adjoining lakes with breezes and spectacular sunsets and sun most of the day).

It's a sheriff's sale; there is no broker involved; potential bidders just need to show up with 10% of the amount they plan to bid in good funds. The house is known, however, to brokers around Lauderdale Lakes, and brokers could supply knowledge about raw land values. The house is unique and its value difficult to assess. This link to the photos on Flickr are from 2008-2009; there are also WBG coffee table books which feature the home.

We'd like architectural lovers of Walter Burley Griffin to know about the auction and we would be happy to help them to assess whether it would be possible to restore the cottage rather than tear it down."

So PrairieMod readers, it's coming down to the wire for this Walter Burley Griffin design. If you have the means and are interested in saving this work of architecture by an important Prairie School architect, then please contact Bill at wpdensmore@gmail.com or by phone at (617) 448-6600. Read more about the home here and see more photos here.

Photo copyright Martha Johnson


 

 

 
 
 

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