Alexander C. Eschweiler

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Alexander C. Eschweiler
Born(1865-08-10)August 10, 1865
DiedJune 12, 1940(1940-06-12) (aged 74)

Alexander Chadbourne Eschweiler (August 10, 1865 – June 12, 1940) was an American architect with a practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He designed both residences and commercial structures. His eye-catching Japonist pagoda design for filling stations for Wadham's Oil and Grease Company of Milwaukee were repeated over a hundred times, though only a very few survive. His substantial turn-of-the-20th-century residences for the Milwaukee business elite, in conservative Jacobethan or neo-Georgian idioms, have preserved their cachet in the city.[1]

Early life[edit]

Eschweiler was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He studied at Marquette University and Cornell University, graduating in 1890. Eschweiler opened his practice in Milwaukee in 1892. In 1923 his sons, Alexander C. Eschweiler Jr., Theodore, and Carl joined him in practice.[2][3]


A number of Eschweiler works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]

Eighty-one surviving commissions were listed in the exhibition "Alexander Eschweiler in Milwaukee: Celebrating a Rich Architectural Heritage" at the Charles Allis Art Museum in 2007.

Personal life[edit]

Summer home[edit]

The Eschweilers had a second home on North Lake in the village of Chenequa, Wisconsin[5] He did not design the residence. It was originally a 100-acre parcel he had purchased in the early 1900s, which included a small cottage from the 1870s.[6] It was eventually torn down and the land was subdivided to settle the estate. The property was split into a 2.8-acre parcel and an 8.3-acre parcel, but six of the acres in the larger parcel are along the lake and are placed in a conservation easement that prohibits development.[7]

Eschweiler was instrumental in the incorporation of the village of Chenequa. He was one of a handful of notable residents that testified in court that it was his residence.[8]


He is buried at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, North Lake, next to his wife and daughter. His plot is near St. Teresa of Calcutta Church, "so he could overlook his 'masterpiece.'"[9]


The Eschweiler Prize, made from a bequest of Alexander C. Eschweiler, Jr., in memory of his father Alexander C. Eschweiler, is an annual award of approximately $3,000 given to a student in architecture at Cornell.[10]

Selected works[edit]

A white building with a red pointed and flared roof covered in snow.
A former Wadham's pagoda

Works include (with attribution): (by year)

(Others, alphabetically)


  1. ^ "Exhibit celebrates elegance, wit of Eschweiler". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  2. ^ Marathon County Historical Society: Online Research[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Wisconsin Historical Society". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  5. ^ "The Milwaukee Sentinel - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Architect's retreat causes rift". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Eschweiler property to be divided". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  8. ^ "The Milwaukee Sentinel - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  9. ^ a b "History - Blessed Teresa Of Calcutta". Archived from the original on 2016-01-22. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  10. ^ Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning Student, Faculty and Staff Handbook
  11. ^ "Wisconsin Historical Society". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  12. ^ Hannah Heidi Levy, Artists and Architects (Milwaukee:Badger Books) 2004:246f. ISBN 1-932542-12-4
  13. ^ Levy 247-48.
  14. ^ "Madison Landmarks". Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  15. ^ Carol Lohry Cartwright (1986-02-03). "NRHP Inventory/Nomination: Merchants Avenue Historic District". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  16. ^ "1202 S LAYTON BLVD | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  17. ^ "South Layton Boulevard Historic District". National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. April 24, 1996. Retrieved 2017-02-01.

External links[edit]

  • Wisconsin Architectural Archive The archive, located at the Milwaukee Public Library contains many Eschweiler drawings as well as those of other Wisconsin architects.