In 1890, Captain Frederick Pabst, owner of Pabst Brewing Company, began construction on his mansion on Grand Avenue in Milwaukee, WI. The original estimate for the 20,019 square foot mansion was $75,000, but by the time the mansion was completed two years later, the total cost (including house, carriage house, greenhouse, pavilion and land) was $254,614 ($32.7 million in today's currency).
The home has 66 rooms, 10 bathrooms, 14 fireplaces, 210 windows, and 137 doors. It's a beautiful Flemish Renaissance Revival style, designed by George Bowman Ferry. The family moved into the home in 1892 and lived there until the death of Captain and Mrs. Pabst in 1904 and 1906 respectively. The family sold the property to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1908 and it became the residence for the archbishop for over sixty years. In 1975 it was sold to a private developer and was primed for demolition, but a group of concerned citizens stepped forward and began the process of saving the mansion. At one time, Grand Avenue was home to over sixty such mansions, but today there are only five remaining, and the Pabst Mansion is one of them.
Painstaking renovation has been done, and is still being done, on the mansion. Many original artifacts have been returned to the home and layers of paint have been removed to display the original paint beneath.
The home is a perfect example of perseverance and hard work in preserving a piece of American history. The volunteers who give guided tours are to be commended for their dedication.
Have you visited a historic mansion? What mansion did you visit?
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