Kristin Bergstrom and Lloyd Dickinson 's House
This lovely stone house at the corner of East Belleview and North Wahl Avenues was built in 1920-23 for William Luick, owner of the Luick Creamery, the largest dairies in Wisconsin. The house was built by the Phillips and Brust Architecture firm, one of the top firms in Milwaukee at that time.
An interesting structural fact about the house is that the home is made almost entirely of bricks, stone and concrete. The reason for this was that Mrs. Luick remembered a horrible fire in downtown Milwaukee when she was a little girl (1888). She insisted that the home have as little wood as possible in it.
The home had been on the market for a year, when Lloyd Dickinson and Kristin Bergstrom saw the home. They bought the house and have spent the last 20 years maintaining it. The house is extremely expensive to heat as it is not insulated and cannot be insulated without destroying the integrity of the original structure.
The building has an open plan but also has a dark, almost medieval quality. Decorative references to this theme can be seen throughout the house in gargoyle designs and stained glass windows set in smaller leaded panels. The exterior fence has a crenellated, rusticated feel in the way the stones are set at right angles to the coursing of the wall.
There is a small beautifully appointed garden and two patios. There is also a coach house above the garage which leads from a back stair to the former servants' quarters, now used as guest rooms.
Lloyd Dickinson grew up in Green Bay, WI. He graduated from the law school in Madison. Dickinson retired earlier this year from the Foley & Lardner, LLP law firm. He is president of the
Historic Water Tower Association, formerly Historic Water Tower Trust. When he got involved with this group there was a rumor that Columbia St. Mary’s hospital was going to tear down the Water Tower. This wasn’t actually the case but Lloyd still likes to mention it, with a twinkle in his eye, "it keeps things on the edge." The association has been concerned with the expansion of both the hospital and the university into their neighborhood. They have helped redirect that expansion on to the west of Downer Avenue.
When they bought this house, the location was considered "iffy". Not many partners in the law firm lived in the city, most lived in the northern suburbs. Lloyd and Kristin love this neighborhood; the walkability of it. He mentions the park designed by Frederick Olmstead, Lake Park Bistro, the new restaurants opening on Downer Ave. He adds that the Alterra on the Lakefront has been a terrific addition to the area. Lloyd has a wonderful view of the lake and a beautiful birch tree from his second floor office window.
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