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Pabst Mansion  

The Pabst Mansion is a grand Flemish Renaissance Revival-styled house built in 1892 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, for Captain Frederick Pabst (1836–1904), founder of the Pabst Brewing Company. In 1975 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now a historic house museum offering tours to the public.


In 1848, as a 12-year-old boy, Frederick Pabst immigrated with his family from Thuringia, Germany, to Milwaukee. Frederick joined the Goodrich Line steamships, working his way up from cabin boy on ships sailing Lake Michigan, eventually to captain in 1857. In 1862 the young steamship captain married Maria Best, whose father owned Best and Company, one of the largest breweries in Milwaukee. In 1864 Pabst joined the family business and, within a few years, was leading it. By 1874 Best & Co. was the largest brewery in the U.S., and in 1889 was renamed the Pabst Brewing Company.

Around 1890, Captain Pabst commissioned Milwaukee architect George Bowman Ferry to design a mansion in the Flemish Renaissance Revival style. On June 27, 1890, a building permit was issued for building the home that would take two years. Ferry had designed a three-story house dignified, with a pressed brick exterior, corner quoins decorated with carved stone, and terra cotta ornament. Hallmarks of the Flemish Renaissance Revival style are the symmetry and the shaped parapets that front the gable ends. Inside was originally a men’s parlor decorated in mahogany on one side and a ladies’ parlor on the other, decorated in white enamel.

The Pabst family lived at the mansion from 1892 until 1908, when the Archdiocese of Milwaukee purchased the mansion. The archdiocese moved the Baroque-styled Conservatory to the east side of the Pabst house, using it as the archbishop’s chapel. For the next 67 years, five Archbishops, many priests, and sisters lived at the Pabst mansion. Bed Bug Exterminator Milwaukee


The first restored room of the Pabst Mansion was the main Dining Room. The ceiling, cove, walls, and paintings above the doors were all painted white by the archdiocese. To find the original paint color, restorers took down three large mirrors on the eastern wall that had hung there since the captain’s residence. The archdiocese had painted around the mirrors but not underneath. A perfect color palette was preserved, which the restorers used to repaint the other walls.

Recent historic preservation efforts are focusing on the Main Suite. In February and March 2011, paint analysis was performed on the ceilings of the Main Bedroom and Sitting Room. Palm fronds were found under layers of paint painted directly onto the ceiling in the four corners of the Sitting Room. In addition, experts used pictures taken around 1900 to find the location of items painted on the ceiling that otherwise would have been lost. The most recent restoration work in Emma’s/Regency Room is almost completed.

Address: 2000 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI

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