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Historical / architectural resources survey, Village of Thiensville, Ozaukee County

Chapter 8: architects, builders, carpenters & contractors,   pp. 39-49

Page 39

Historical and Architectural Resources Survey
Village of Thiensville                                                       Page 39
Architects, Builders, Carpenters & Contractors
A discussion of the architects, builders, carpenters and contractors who practiced from the 1880s
through the 1950s is somewhat limited due to a lack of documentation. There are no known
Thiensville directories prior to the 1950s. Wisconsin State Gazetteers noted a few builders names;
however, all had been previously identified. Therefore, newspaper briefs, which indicated who hired
whom to build a house proved to be most helpful. However, in many cases, while the name of the
home or building owner is noted--as is its progress--the builder is not mentioned. Additional
resources, such as the 1976 History of Thiensville, as well as the records at the Wisconsin
Architectural Archive in Milwaukee aided in supplying information from the 1930s to the present.
A history sketch by John Sitkiewitz indicates that the earliest known carpenter was a Mr. Schnuckel.
He also notes that in 1880, Thiensville possessed approximately fifty residences. Based on the extant
resources in the village, a fairly significant period of building occurred in the mid- to late-I 880s
through the mid-1890s. Names of builders during that period included Fred Linden, Fred Gierach
and Henry Alfke. Between 1914 and 1915, the Cedarburg News notes for Thiensville reported a fair
amount of residential construction; however, only one or two of the newsbriefs cite a builder or
carpenter. Another building boom seemingly occurred between 1927 and 1928. An August newsbrief
reads: "The village at present has a healthy appearance in every respect. There are no vacant houses.
Seven or eight houses are going up in all parts of the limits in the village and we know of several
others who will start building before the snow flies." Again in February, the paper notes, "There are
not less than a dozen new homes which we know are going up in early spring." The same edition
vaguely discusses "rumors" concerning business-related construction in the village.56
The following outlines the known architects, builders, contractors, etc. of Thiensville.
*Robert Boerner (Landscape Architect, Cedarburg, WI)
In 1933, after the village acquired what is now known as Village Park, located at the east
end of Elm Street (Photo Codes 85114-15, 85/19-20, 85/22-24), Robert Boerner was hired
by the Village of Thiensville to design its layout. Boerner was the brother of Alfred Boemer,
'56john Sitkiewitz, "History of Thiensville," n.p., Unpublished manuscript located at the Mequon Historical
Society, Mequon, WI; Newsbriefs, Cedarburg News (re: Rosenthal Residence), 19 March 1890; Cedarburg News (re:
A.H. Albers Residence), 19 September 1894; Cedarburg News (re: development) 3 August 1927 and 8 February 1928;
Mohr, ed., History of Thiensville, 4.

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