Plankinton House Hotel, 1889
The Plankinton House hotel once sat on prime real estate.
The Plankinton House hotel would continue to grow after an 1882 addition. Several factors were at work. One was the Newhall House fire, a devastating blaze that eliminated The Plankinton House’s largest competitor. Next would be location. Milwaukee, west of the river, would truly boom during this period, fueled by a steady stream of immigrants from Europe.
Also, the Milwaukee Railway and Light CO. would construct it’s main terminal and streetcar house even closer to the hotel in the early 1900s. In other words, the Plankinton House was sitting on some prime real estate. The hotel would expand to the west, covering the entire frontage of Grand Ave. (now Wisconsin Ave.) between Plankinton and 2nd St.
This is a view of the hotel from a photogravure produced by S.L. Stein circa 1889. Some views of the opulent interior will be published in this feature next week.
Jeff Beutner is a collector of photographs, postcards and stereoviews of old Milwaukee. This column features these images, with historical commentary by Beutner.