The same walls that Melvina Kleverova Zilliox now calls home a century ago housed a cohort of firemen ready to come to Milwaukee’s rescue.
Kleverova Zilliox, design director for general merchandise at Harley-Davidson Motor Co., and her husband, Michael Zilliox, live in an Italianate-style firehouse located in Milwaukee’s Martin Drive Neighborhood. Throughout the last seven years of owning the 101-year-old house, which sits within walking distance of Kleverova Zilliox’s workplace, the couple has devoted many of their weeks to do-it-yourself renovation projects that draw out the “old world” charm of the house while adding in “modern convenience,” she said. Among the projects they have tackled, many with help from skilled craftsmen, are the installation of new utilities, the remodeling of a bathroom, the launch of a master bedroom project and the buildout of a guest bedroom. The couple has also removed two of the firehouse’s original three poles and completed a fireplace casement in the home’s great room, which used to hold dormitory-style sleeping quarters for the firemen. Still ahead are plans to create an elevator and rooftop deck, as well as an outdoor patio. The couple also wants to enhance their home’s energy efficiency.
“The quality of building materials of this era is something we don’t see as much anymore, and knowing that with attention and care we can bring these back to their original glory is a real honor,” Kleverova Zilliox said.