The American System-Built Homes were Frank Lloyd Wright’s solution for providing affordable architect-designed housing. This freshly restored, 1915 American System-Built Home Model B1 is one of six Wright homes on a single city block, in Milwaukee WI. This cluster is the largest existing grouping of Wright homes. It was rescued by Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin Heritage Tourism Program to save and restore.
The restoration of this Wright home at 2714 Burnham Street was funded in part by Save Americas Treasures, a public-private partnership between the National Park Service and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.
A two-bedroom one-bathroom home, the Model B1 is tiny by today’s standards at approximately 800 square feet. The meticulous restoration brought the home back to the 1916 appearance taking 13 months from start to finish.
Many fine local craftsman and professionals contributed their skills and expertise toward the restoration including, Uihlein Wilson Architects, Beyer Construction, Acker Millwork and the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Historic Preservation Institute at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Brass Light Gallery was selected to make three custom reproduction light fixtures to replace missing originals. In addition, Brass Light Gallery restored the 11 surviving original light fixtures and all the window, door and cabinet hardware.
“It is important for the soul of the community to have works of art like the Wright Buildings on Burnham. People who visit gain an understanding of architecture, what Wright was about, what he contributed uniquely to this country,” said Mike Lilek, who oversaw the restoration.
The 2714 Burnham Model B1 home is open for tours, through Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin Heritage Tourism Program Inc.