|N e i g h b o r h o o d s
If your home is located south of Greenfield Avenue and north of Becher Street,
you live in the Burnham Park Neighborhood which 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
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.
Two of these homes have been purchased by the Wright In Wisconsin organization and are being restored
to their original glory. One home, a two-bedroom single family home, will serve our neighborhood as a
museum that is open to the public. One of the homes is currently open for tours, which take place from 1:
00-4:00 on the second Saturday of each month. Come and see this rare home and learn about its unique
design that has attracted tourists from all over the world! Visit the website, www.wrightinmilwaukee.com for
Click for larger image
Currently, Burnham Park residents have organized around the creation of a Burnham Park Identity Project.
When asked what came to mind when thinking of their neighborhood many responded with feelings of a
friendly and convenient location and images of children playing outside, the Frank Lloyd Wright Homes and
beautiful, historic homes. Residents wanted their identity to revolve around these feelings, so that not only
was it a reminder to themselves but also a positive, warm feeling that came to neighborhood visitors.
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 Wisconsinhistory.org.
|Layton Boulevard West Neighbors Inc., Sacred Heart Center 1545 S. Layton Boulevard
Suite 506 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215 414-383-9038