Louis & Helen Luker House – 1931
The Luker house was built by builder, designer, contractor Louis G. Henriksen. He was born in Norway, came to Racine and was working as a carpenter in 1925. Henriksen would become one of the city’s most prominent and successful builders, retiring in 1955 to Florida. He died in 1981 at age 91 and is buried in Racine.
 
The Tudor Revival style was very popular in America from 1890 to 1940.  Note the Tudor characteristics: steeply pitched roof; side gables; a front-facing steeply pitched gable, including the front entry. Massive chimneys on the front or side are typical, although this more of a prominent side chimney. It features a front door with a rounded or Tudor arch and displays windows in multiple groups, with multiple panes. Stone, brick and stucco are original to this style, and brick veneering and decorative stucco techniques had been perfected and were the preferred outer wall materials.  Dormers are also characteristic, and the full front stucco shed dormer provides more living space making the house 1 ½ stories. Notably missing are pattern brickwork, stone inlay, half-timbering, and elaborate gable detailing. Importantly, the house was built in the Depression and Tudor homes were simplified in the 1930s, and by the 1940s Colonial Revival would be the rage.

Louis Luker, born in Germany, was a machinist at Young Radiator. He and his wife bought 42 feet of Lot 3, Block 9 in the Manree Park subdivision from his neighbors to the north, Leonard and Birdie Tagatz, at 704 Orchard St. a week after they bought their house, also built by Henriksen.

In May 1937 the Lukers sold the house to Donald C. and Charlene Cameron. Mr. Cameron had a Ph.D. in chemistry and worked for B. D. Eisendrath Tanning Company, where he had titles of research chemist and associate research director. Both Mr. and Mrs. Cameron were very active in the community with the Junior Civic Orchestra, Racine Library Board, and Women’s Club.

Mr. Cameron died in January and Mrs. Cameron in April of 1968, and the house was sold by their two sons in June of 1968 to Charles DeVries, an engineer at J. I. Case, and his wife Carol. They sold it the following year to Richard D. and Sue Mills. He was a chemist at SC Johnson. They sold the house to their son David Mills and Linda Richer in June of 1992 and moved down the street to 726 Orchard Street (a home also on the tour). It was sold in November 1997 to Gerald C. and Colleen M. Jossart.
 
The current owners, John and Catherine Lehman, purchased the home in April 2002. Mr. Lehman is a state senator and former president of the City of Racine Common Council. Mrs. Lehman is a nurse. We thank the Lehmans very much for sharing their wonderful house with us.