The Pfister Hotel, a historic AAA Four Diamond hotel owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, announced that it is undergoing an extensive, state-of-the-art, multi-phase renovation. The renovation, which began in June and is expected to cost approximately $20 million, will feature a full revitalization of the ballrooms and meeting spaces, followed by all-new guest rooms in its historic tower, and conclude with enhancements to the hotel’s iconic lobby, lobby bar, and Café at the Pfister. All phases of this renovation are expected to be completed by spring 2024.
Following the completion of the seventh-floor renovations in early Fall 2023 (including the Grand Ballroom), the hotel will begin extensive renovations to the guest rooms in the hotel’s historic tower. The historic guest rooms will be restyled with today’s discerning traveler in mind and include custom designed carpet, new luxurious furnishings, updated drapery and window treatments, select new bar areas for entertaining, entirely new bathrooms with updated lighting fixtures, tile showers, mirrors with built in lighting, and more. Renovations to the lobby and first-floor public spaces will begin in early 2024 and will include new carpet, new luxurious furnishings, and updated color palettes to complement the iconic domed ceiling.
The Pfister’s Storied History
For 130 years, The Pfister Hotel has stood as an icon of prestige, history and timeless excellence in Milwaukee. Originally the vision of businessman Guido Pfister and his son, Charles, the Romanesque Revival design and its groundbreaking innovations, such as fireproofing, electricity throughout the hotel and individual thermostat controls in every room, made it a true marvel in 1893. Many called it the “Grand Hotel of the West” as it was the most lavish hotel of its time, costing nearly $1 million to build.
In 1962, Ben Marcus purchased the hotel at auction with the intent of renovating the historic hotel back to its original beauty. Since then, the Pfister Hotel has and continues to host the world’s most recognized entertainers, athletes and dignitaries, including every U.S. President since William McKinley. In fact, the Pfister even served as John F. Kennedy’s election headquarters in 1960. The Pfister Hotel also boasts the most celebrated ballrooms in the city with hundreds of galas and special events taking place every year that raise at least $10 million annually.
Longstanding Dedication to the Arts
Woven throughout the cultural fiber of The Pfister Hotel is a longstanding passion for the arts. The hotel holds the largest Victorian art collection of any other hotel in the world. Originally collected by Guido and Charles Pfister, the expansive collection can be found on every floor throughout the hotel.
The Pfister Hotel also celebrates the arts with its internationally recognized Artist in Residence program. In its 14th year, the program selects an artist for a year-long residency where they work in the hotel’s working studio and gallery space that is open to hotel guests and visitors. The public is encouraged to interact with the artist and witness the evolution of their art firsthand, inviting collaboration and intimate experiences with artists and their works.