Preserving Our Past
A regular feature about the historically significant buildings in Whitefish Bay
The Whitney H. and Anna M. Eastman residence
4716 N. Wilshire Drive, WI 53217
This home was constructed in 1929 for Mr. and Mrs. Whitney H. Eastman. Eastman was the president of the William O. Goodrich Co., as associate organization of the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) group, of which he was a large stockholder.
In the history of Archer Daniels Midland, it is reported that at the end of 1940, ADM had six soybean processing plants with one located in Milwaukee. It appears likely that Milwaukee’s William O. Goodrich Co. was either initially associated with ADM, or was later acquired by the firm.
Of subsequent owners of this residence were the parents of actress Kristen Johnston, who lived there during her high school years. Kristen is best known for her role portraying Sally Solomon in the TV series 3rd Rock from the Sun (also known as Life as We Know It and 3rd Rock), which ran on the NBC network (1996-2001). However, she also has had numerous other theatrical roles.
Kristen Johnston graduated from Whitefish Bay High School, was involved in the American Field Service program there, and spent some of her teen years as an exchange student in Sweden and in South America. For her portrayal of Sally Solomon on "3rd Rock from The Sun,” Kristen received an Emmy Award in 1997, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1998 and received nominations for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and the American Comedy Award.
Whitefish Bay Village Hall building permit records list Roy C. Otto as the architect and builder for the residence, which was built at an estimated cost of $18,000. Otto also designed over a dozen residences in the Washington Highlands district of Wauwatosa. Those houses are currently listed on the Wisconsin State Architecture and History Inventory.
In spite of the number of residences that Otto designed in the Milwaukee area, little is known of him. His obituary reports that he was born in Oshkosh, had operated the Sport Bowl in Milwaukee from 1941 to 1965, had also operated the Parkway Bowl and the Regency Bowl, served as an officer of the Wisconsin Bowling Proprietor’s Association, and “had been a building contractor in the Milwaukee area.”
Note: Please respect the rights of private property owners when viewing this or any of properties listed in this column.
About "Preserving Our Past"
The Village of Whitefish Bay is a community of residential neighborhoods, punctuated with an attractive walking district of fine stores, excellent schools and vibrant houses of worship. It is filled with homes and other buildings that are architecturally rich, well-designed and maintained, and diverse in character.
Its residents have contributed much to the broad cultural, political, economic and social history of the area. And its residents are interested in maintaining their connections with an historic past.
To help maintain these connections, the Historic Preservation Commission is in the process of identifying buildings and historic sites that it believes may be architecturally significant or historic. On a weekly basis we will feature a building or site from our inventory.
- Archive: Read about the village's other historic buildings
- From the commission: About our inventory and a request for help
- More more information: Historic designation application and procedures online
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