Pfister Hotel to renovate

The Pfister Hotel, a historic AAA Four Diamond hotel owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, is undergoing an extensive, multi-phase renovation to further elevate its guest experience. 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 guestrooms 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, with the newly renovated Imperial Ballroom hosting its first wedding this past weekend.

“Celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, The Pfister is the crown jewel of Milwaukee,” said Michael Evans, president, Marcus Hotels & Resorts. “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. 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.”

Stately ballrooms and event spaces
The first phase of renovations has begun on the seventh floor in The Pfister’s stately meeting and event spaces. The Imperial Ballroom and King’s Row recently gave guests their first look at the complete redesign, with The Grand Ballroom and the Hall of Presidents to follow soon. As one of the most celebrated ballrooms in Milwaukee, these spaces are home to the start of countless marriages, where Milwaukee’s top charities raise millions in vitally needed funds and where thousands of small to Fortune 100 companies meet to learn and celebrate.

Utilizing a new and refined color palette, nearly every element of the seventh-floor meeting and event spaces will include luxurious wallcoverings, custom Axminster wool carpet, tailored drapery and historic fixtures for a new appealing look that honors the hotel’s historic roots. As an added comfort, all restrooms are being renovated, along with an expanded women’s restroom and the construction of a new unisex restroom.

As host to hundreds of events per year that can accommodate 50-1,500 guests, the seventh-floor spaces will feature state-of-the-art technology to enhance the total event experience, including high-performance audio equipment that delivers superior sound as well as top-of-the-line lighting to match any ambiance, day or evening. Each space can be subdivided into smaller spaces to fit guests’ specific needs, with updated climate controls, private entrances for special guests, updated WiFi and conferencing capabilities and more.

Continuing to honor its deep history in Milwaukee, the Pfister’s seventh-floor renovations will also incorporate many elements of its storied past into the redesign, starting with its famous distinctive features. The Imperial Ballroom’s original gold-plated chandeliers have been refurbished to ensure they continue to gleam as they have for more than 130 years, and is gilded ceiling retained its original detail following a restorative cleaning, while the Grand Ballroom’s exquisite crystal chandeliers will continue to shimmer over its guests. Key pieces of the hotel’s legacy Victorian art collection, including originals such as “Reverie” by Consuelo Fould, “Dorothy Vernon” by Louis Emile Adan and “Friends” by Pietro Scadrone, will continue to adorn the seventh floor. And when sitting down to a delectable meal, guests will dine on custom gold-plated fine china, designed to replicate the historic fine china once served at The Pfister Hotel many years ago.

In addition to the ballrooms and meeting spaces, the pre-function area on the seventh floor will complement the renovations with added functional nuances. For example, the seventh-floor bar will feature stone and woodwork details with a moveable wall to transition from daytime to nighttime events. This innovative design will allow for customized experiences, including an elevated full coffee presentation for morning events and a fully stocked bar for the evening. The gathering space will also include additional seating with pieces intentionally designed for aesthetics as well as to foster discussion and collaboration among event attendees.

Behind the scenes, The Pfister’s renovations will include enhancements to its professional catering services, including top-of-the-line commercial appliances. Already known for its exceptional event offerings, these enhanced culinary capabilities will elevate the restaurant-quality meals and excellent service found at every event, according to the property.

“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, managing director, The Pfister Hotel. “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.”

Historic tower guestrooms and lobby
Following the completion of the seventh-floor renovations in early Fall, the hotel will begin extensive renovations to the guestrooms in the hotel’s historic tower. The historic guestrooms 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.

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