Jeramey Jannene

Pfister Hotel Receiving $20 Million In Upgrades

Renovation aims to be completed in time for Republican National Convention.

By - Jul 27th, 2023 09:44 am
The Pfister Hotel - 424 E. Wisconsin Ave

The Pfister Hotel – 424 E. Wisconsin Ave

One of Milwaukee’s premier hotels and event venues is receiving a substantial renovation.

A $20 million, phased renovation to the Pfister Hotel will be completed in advance of the July 2024 Republic National Convention. It’s the first major renovation to the 130-year-old hotel, one of the city’s largest and long its most prestigious, in more than a decade.

The effort, according to a press release, “will marry timeless elegance with the utmost in distinctive style and sophistication.”

The first phase includes renovations to the seventh-floor meeting and ballroom spaces. Work began in June and is already complete for two of the larger rooms, which hosted their first events last weekend. Upgrades include new wallcoverings, carpet, drapery, fixtures, A/V equipment, expanded women’s restrooms and a unisex restroom. A number of upgrades to the pre-function space on the floor and back-of-the-house spaces are also underway.

“For over a century, The Pfister has been our city’s enduring mainstay, holding as much of Milwaukee’s history as its own,” said Brandon Drusch, the hotel’s managing director, in a statement. “For generations, the Pfister has been the hotel of choice for event planners and individual guests alike. And thanks to thoughtful planning, impeccable attention to detail, and expert craftsmanship, we are elevating our time-honored luxury in a way that is approachable and fresh for today’s guest.”

Guest room renovations will begin this fall, including aesthetic upgrades and bathroom improvements.

The final phase will include renovations to the lobby and adjoining bar as well as Cafe at the Pfister restaurant. Work is to be completed by spring 2024.

The 307-room hotel is located at 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. Its guests have included several presidents, touring musicians and professional sports teams.

The hotel originally opened in 1893. After being acquired by Ben Marcus in 1962, a tower and parking structure were added to the Romanesque Revival structure. An affiliate of Marcus Hotels & Resorts, part of the publicly-traded Marcus Corp, owns the property.

“For generations, The Pfister has been the hotel of choice for presidents, poets, performers and hall of famers. It has served as the trusted backdrop to red-carpet events, history-making announcements, as well as countless galas, weddings, meetings, reunions and more,” said Michael Evans, Marcus Hotels & Resorts president, in a statement. “With these renovations, we are blending our celebrated history and traditions with contemporary refinements, fresh aesthetics and enhanced amenities that will result in The Pfister’s continuation as a Milwaukee and national icon for generations to come.”

The hotel, whose first floor draws guests as well as locals, also operates an artist-in-residence program.

A building permit lists Eppstein Uhen Architects as the design firm behind the alteration, with general contracting led by Tri-North. The property, according to city assessment records, is valued at $41.4 million.

A number of new hotels have opened in recent years, challenging the hotel’s dominance of the high-end market. The most recent entry into the market was The Trade hotel, which opened in May.


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Categories: Real Estate

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