Alois A. & Lila (Lyla) Ritter House – 1932
The 1858 Racine County tax records and Plat Map of Racine County show Francis M. Drake as the owner of the land this house occupies. It is recorded that he paid the taxes on 80 acres and the state held a mortgage for part of the property.  By 1873 the property was owned by the Halsey J. Reed family, who owned the property until the development of the Manree Park neighborhood.  The permit for this brick Tudor Revival house was taken out in the fall of 1931 by Alois and Lila (Lyla) Ritter with an estimated value of $11,000. The builder was Fred Jorgensen, a carpenter and building contractor, who later built his own home at 736 Russet Street.
Alois’ family came to Racine from Milwaukee in 1890 so his father could join the newly established Hartmann Trunk Company. He had previously been the chief trunk maker in Milwaukee for Hartmann-Heiser Trunk Company. Alois and his brother, Julius Ritter Jr. spent their entire careers with Hartmann Trunk Company.  In 1944, the Ritters sold the property to George and Bessie Studey, who owned and operated Studey Sanitary Dairy on Durand Avenue.  Dr. Louis Kurten and his wife Betty purchased the property in 1948.  Dr. Kurten grew up in Racine and graduated from Northwestern Medical School in 1939, specializing in cardiology. He joined his older brother, Dr. Russell Kurten, a surgeon, in practice in 1946.  Together they established the Kurten Medical Clinic located first at 810 Main Street in 1952.  By 1961 the clinic relocated to Northwestern Avenue. In 1994 the Racine and Kurten Clinic would combine to become All Saints Medical Group.
By 1966, the Kurtens sold their house and moved to another home in Racine. The house had several owners before Christopher and Amy Cape purchased the house in 1989.  Richard and Ann Smith became of the owners in October of 2016.
Tudor Revival style houses gained popularity in the 1920s when mail order catalogs, pattern books and builder guides became available across the country. This house features a single dominant mid-façade gable with an ornamental stone entrance. The stone is also showcased above the banks of front-facing leaded glass windows. The steep, gabled main entryway with an arched doorway is characteristic of this style house. Copper gutters, large chimney, and a concrete roof add to the curb appeal. The interior of the house features cove ceilings, textured plaster walls, and a large fireplace with a tiled hearth matching the front interior entrance. We are grateful to the Smiths for allowing us to view their Manree Park gem.