In 1889, Captain Frederick Pabst commissioned Milwaukee architect, George Bowman Ferry to design a substantial mansion in the Flemish Renaissance Revival style on a large piece of property that Pabst had acquired some years earlier. Over the next two years, dozens upon dozens of craftsman created the structure that we see today.
The Mansion was to be one of the very finest residences in the city. No cost or innovation would be spared in its design. Of many of its conveniences, the house was wired for electricity, then in its infancy, plumbed for nine full bathrooms, installed with a state-of-the-art heating system by the company now known as Johnson Controls which could regulate the heat in the Mansion with 16 thermostats and custom-built furniture for the majority of its rooms.
The outside of the Mansion was just as impressive with a large stable to the rear of the property, designed in a similar style as the main house, only on a smaller scale which was unfortunately razed in 1977. A large glass conservatory behind the Mansion housed all manner of tropical plants that would be taken out into the gardens during the summer months. This included a large palm tree the gardeners would move every summer to the flowerbed in front of the Mansion! At the north end of the property, a servant’s duplex was constructed as a residence for the butler and the coachman and their families.
After Captain Pabst died in 1904 and Mrs. Pabst in 1906, the heirs to the estate put the Pabst Mansion up for sale. In May of 1908, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee successfully negotiated for the purchase of the Mansion to be used as the residence of the Archbishop.
For 67 years, five Archbishops and numerous priests and sisters called the former Pabst Residence home. In 1975, the Mansion was to be sold only for the second time is its history. to local entrepreneur, John Conlin who opened the former Pabst Mansion and to the public in May of 1978.
On the National Register of Historic Homes, the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion is a jewel of a bygone era.
2000 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233