History of the location of the bonsai exhibit location.
Harry Bradley, a wealthy Milwaukee industrialist, bought a forty-acre farm on Brown Deer Road in 1926. He brought in a landscape firm from Chicago, landscaped the entire forty acres, and added several ponds. He and his wife Peg, lived there for the rest of their lives. In the summertime they swam in the ponds and this little building was built as a place for them to change. The women changed inside and the men changed outside behind the fence. Both areas included a shower and toilet. When they skated on the ponds in the winter, they used it as a “warming hut.”
Here’s what the building looked like in 2015. For years it had been used strictly for storage.
After it was decided in construct the bonsai exhibit area at Lynden, the “Changing House” was the most intriguing and logical place to locate it. It is centrally located on the property, and nestles between two ponds. The structure of the Changing House itself was left almost intact. The inside of the building was cleaned, the toilets were removed, the chimney was tuck-pointed and a new roof installed. The fence around the men’s changing area was rebuilt to enclose the exhibit area. Patio’s on two sides and a shade structure for the bonsai completed the rehabilitation. It is a beautiful location for the Milwaukee Bonsai Collection