Ten Chimneys

Click the image to learn more. Photograph of the Ten Chimneys property looking south through the driveway gate.

Home to world famous theater couple Alfred Lunt and his wife Lynn Fontanne, Ten Chimneys earned National Historic Landmark status in the early 2000s.[1] Lunt, a Milwaukee native, bought the site in Genesee Depot in the Town of Genesee in 1913 and began building the house a year later.[2] The Lunts brought in famed theater set designer Claggett Wilson to paint elaborate murals on the walls and ceilings.[3] They hosted a number of world renowned celebrities at Ten Chimneys, including Noël Coward, Sir Lawrence Olivier, and Katherine Hepburn.[4] Threatened by land developers, the property was saved by local arts and preservation advocates in 1996. Now administered by the Ten Chimneys Foundation, the house and grounds serve as a museum and as a venue for public programs, specialized theater events, arts education programs, acting workshops, and lectures.[5]

Footnotes [+]

  1. ^ Robert Simonson, “Lunt and Fontanne’s Most Lasting Production,” The New York Times, July 13, 2003, accessed October 24, 2011. See also “Ten Chimneys,” National Historic Landmark Nomination. This entry was first posted on July 6, 2016 and updated on November 11, 2019.
  2. ^ M. Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman, Wisconsin’s Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes (Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2010), 270-276.
  3. ^ Ibid.
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^ Ten Chimneys, “About the Foundation and Mission,” accessed July 6, 2016.

For Further Reading

Connolly, M. Caren, and Louis Wasserman, “Ten Chimneys.” In Wisconsin’s Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes, 267-278. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2010.


Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. Encyclopedia of Milwaukee reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Copyright, Privacy, and Terms & Conditions.

Have a suggestion for a new topic? Please use the Site Contact Form.

Leave a Comment