Sophie Bolich

Pabst Theater Group Buys Wedding Venue

The Fitzgerald will be located in historic landmark, an 1874 mansion in Yankee Hill.

By - Jul 19th, 2022 05:37 pm
Villa Filomena. Photo taken June 16, 2022 by Graham Kilmer.

Villa Filomena. Photo taken June 16, 2022 by Graham Kilmer.

The Pabst Theater Group (PTG) has acquired a historic property with plans to use it as a special events venue.

The group will rebrand the mansion, formerly the Villa Filomena, as The Fitzgerald in honor of the original owner, Great Lakes Captain Robert Patrick Fitzgerald.

“The Pabst Theater Group will host all previously booked events at the venue into 2023 and will continue to operate the space as a venue for weddings and private events,” said a press release.

“We are excited to expand our already thriving private events arm of the Pabst Theater Group to include yet another historic venue that represents Milwaukee’s heritage and offers a uniquely beautiful setting for anyone’s special day,” said Ann Lennart, director of private events for the Pabst Theater Group. “We look forward to working with existing clients and booking future events that offer the same signature unique setting and high quality experience that past and potential clients have come to expect from our venues.”

The mansion was already operating as wedding venue, with three separate rentable spaces: The Chandelier Ballroom, seating up to 250, The Fitzgerald Parlor, seating 45 and the Garden Terrace, seating 125.

Under the new ownership, a rental includes the entire mansion including the ballroom space, the parlors and the upstairs dressing rooms.

The group plans to make initial changes including fresh paint, a new ballroom floor and renovated bar areas “while keeping historic integrity intact,” said a press release.

PTG’s current roster includes five venues: the Pabst Theater, Riverside Theater, Turner Hall Ballroom, Back Room @ Colectivo and the Miller High Life Theatre. The group also hosts shows at the Fiserv Forum, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and Bradley Symphony Center.

The expanding operation, led by Gary Witt, took over booking and operations for the 4,087-seat Miller High Life Theatre in March. PTG is also a partner in an effort to create a 3,500-person venue as part of the multi-use development planned for downtown Milwaukee called the Iron District.

PTG currently hosts weddings at Turner Hall Ballroom, but doesn’t own the event space. It also offers private events at its other venues.

Lennart said that the new venue would be the perfect complement to Turner Hall. “This is going to be a smaller, more intimate space,” she said. “So we actually think it’s going to work out great to have both options to give to people when they inquire in case one doesn’t quite fit their size or what they’re looking for.”

She also said that the group is not planning to bring on any new vendors at this time, and will honor the existing contracts of previously-booked events.

Located at 1119 N. Marshall St., the mansion was constructed in 1874 as a private residence for Robert Patrick Fitzgerald. In 1968, the building was designated a Milwaukee landmark. The most recent owners, married couple Anthony and Janice Sanfilippo, bought the 8,752 square-foot building, now valued at $739,400, in 2004.

“The Fitzgerald mansion holds a special place in the hearts of the Sanfilippo family, specifically me and my mom who’ve shared many memories running this place as a mother/daughter duo,” said Tina Sanfilippo Weber. “When we decided to sell, it was important to find the perfect new owner who would preserve its history.”

Parties interested in viewing and/or booking the space can visit to schedule an appointment.

One thought on “Pabst Theater Group Buys Wedding Venue”

  1. Jeffjay60 says:

    Since this building is right across the street from my building, all I have to say is, Welcome to the hood.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us