Ok, so now lets talk about the shack itself. Located at 2000 Grand avenue, the Pabst Mansion was completed in 1892 after 2 years of workmanship completed by dozens and dozens of craftsmen. Pabst spared no expense when building his new family home; the house was fully wired for electricity (which was novel at the time), all NINE bathrooms were complete with indoor plumbing, and a state of the art heating system was installed (with 16 separate thermostats) to keep the family toasty during the bitter Wisconsin winters.
The Mansion, built in the Flemish Renaissance Revival style, is a true Wisconsin work of art. Each room is decorated beautifully with copious amounts of woodwork, priceless art and of course antlers everywhere; the reception room is complete with a massive chandelier made from the antlers of a once majestic buck. The decoration throughout the house is rich, with gold and deep hued wall paper adorning most rooms. My favorite area of the house was the captain’s study. More rustic than the rest of the building, the study has a dropped wood ceiling and engraved wood paneling running along every wall, creating an intimate cabin like, cozy feel in the decadent room. Unfortunately, the Pabst family only spent a few short years in their majestic residence; Captain Pabst died and 1904 with his wife following shortly after in 1906. The children immediately put the home up for sale and in 1908 the Archdiocese of Milwaukee purchased the building and transformed it into the residence of the Archbishop. For 67 years the house was home to many sisters, and priests but in 1975 the mansion was put up for sale again. The Archdiocese had hoped that the historic building would be sold to some restoration group, who had the intent of turning the building into a permanent museum (like it is today) but funding was cut short and a third party bought the building. Not long before the mansion was demolished to make room for a parking garage, WHI (Wisconsin Heritages Inc.) received a grant and purchased the mansion. Since then, every wall ornament and piece of furniture has been careful attended to in order to restore the former Pabst home to its original glory. Eleven years ago, the mansion was officially names the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion to focus on the preservation of the Pabst family legacy.
Admission to the mansion is 7 dollars for students ( 8 during the holiday season). If you want to take a quick trip back in time 100 years I highly recommend spending an afternoon wandering around this Milwaukee gem (that is unless you have a time machine and in that case we need to talk!)