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Architecture of Eugene Liebert: Teutonic Style in the American Midwest


Eugene Liebert designed buildings that would have blended seamlessly into the landscape of his native Berlin, Germany. One of his mansions became so famous that when it was demolished it attracted such notables as Gary Cooper and Henry Ford to bid on the pieces. Liebert moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1883 and, in time, became the darling of the German aristocracy there. His adopted home had the greatest concentration of German immigrants in America and had become the center of German language culture in the Midwest. Liebert spoke their native tongue and their aesthetic language. At least six of his buildings have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. While Liebert was comfortable working in over a dozen styles, he seems to have favored German New Renaissance and Jugendsil (the Teutonic take on Art Nouveau). His strongly-characterized architecture has left an unmistakable imprint on Milwaukee and such outlying communities as Elm Grove, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and St. Louis, Missouri.