The Burnham Park Neighborhood was named after George Burnham. George moved to Milwaukee in 1843 with his brother Jonathan. It was George and Jonathan Burnham who discovered the light colored clay that was used to create Milwaukee’s famous cream-colored brick. This discovery sparked the designation for Milwaukee’s nickname: The Cream City.
Along with the brick business that manufactured 15 million bricks annually, George became a large land owner and mapped out this neighborhood with Daniel Rogers and John Becher in 1871. Each of these men named the streets that run through the neighborhood with their surnames.
Among many gems located in the Burnham Park neighborhood are the one-of-a-kind Frank Lloyd Wright Homes that line an entire block on Burnham Street. Frank Lloyd Wright, one of America’s most famous architects, is most renowned for his prairie style homes built in natural rural environments. However, before the onset of World War I, he designed affordable homes that moderate income families could live in. In fact, the Burnham Park neighborhood is home to the only urban homes he designed. While the original goal was to create an entire neighborhood of these kinds of homes, only 6 of them were actually built.
It is not known why the Burnham Park neighborhood was selected as the site for Wright’s “American System-Built Homes”, but the location was very close to the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company’s streetcar rail lines. One hundred years ago, neighbors could take the “City Service” line from South 31st Street and Burnham to anywhere in the city and beyond (the lines could take you as far as East Troy). In terms of city development and transportation, the site was ideally located.
The Burnham Park Neighborhood holds many treasurers for neighbors as well as international visitors. Burnham Park has a baseball and soccer field played by many up and coming ball players. There are several businesses, including restaurants and shopping, for when you’d like to be out and about. Make sure to check out all this neighborhood has to offer!
From Milwaukee Streets: The Stories Behind Their Names by Carl Baehr and Dictionary of Wisconsin History from www.wisconsinhistory.org.
Neighborhood Boundaries – West Greenfield Avenue on the North, South Layton Boulevard on the East, West Becher Street on the South, Miller Park Way on the West.
- Burnham Park
- Frank Lloyd Wright Homes
- International Restaurants and Markets
- St. Joseph Chapel
- The Story Garden (29th and Burnham)
- Check out homes for sale in Burnham Park.
- If you live in Burnham Park, get involved with your neighborhood.
- Learn how to start or expand a business in Burnham Park.