Alexander Mitchell House
900 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County
Dates of construction: 1859, 1871, 1872, 1876, 1905
Architect: Edward Townsend Mix
Alexander Mitchell was born in 1817 in Scotland. He immigrated to the United States in 1839 and pursued a career in banking in Milwaukee, founding the Marine Bank of Wisconsin. From 1864 to his death in 1887 he was the president of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway. He also served two terms in Congress. Mitchell is said to have been his generation’s wealthiest Wisconsin resident.
The Mitchell House occupies a full city block of landscaped grounds surrounded by a tall iron fence with carved limestone posts. Located within the grounds is a highly ornate, pagoda-roofed summer house built in 1871, known as the Belvedere. Other outbuildings once dotted the grounds, but are no longer extant.
In 1848, the Mitchells built a modest house on the current site. With increasing wealth, Mitchell bought the other parcels on the block and expanded his house. In 1859, the original house was remodeled in the Italianate style and in 1872 wings were added. In 1876, Mitchell hired noted Milwaukee architect Edward Townsend Mix to update the house in the fashionable Second Empire style. Rooms were added, as was the signature mansard roof and entry tower. Artists decorated the house with carved woodwork, stained glass, and inlaid tiles.
The house stood vacant after Alexander Mitchell’s death until the Deutscher Club acquired it and moved their club to the house in 1895. The Club was established in 1891 to provide fellowship for the city's affluent German-American businessmen. Responding to anti-German sentiment during World War I, they changed the name to the Wisconsin Club. The Club made several additions to the house and have remodeled rooms to accommodate the new function.
The Mitchell House remains the home of the Wisconsin Club.