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Haunted Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Grand Hotel, Milwaukee Wisconsin

The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee is a Victorian masterpiece, located just three blocks from lake Michigan. The Pfister is distinguished from other area hotels by features such as the ornate three story lobby, grand marble staircase and a massive fireplace in the lobby. The Pfister has an impressive collection of Victorian artworks, said to be the largest collection of Victorian art found in any hotel in the world.

Ghost Stories

The founder of the Pfister Hotel in, Milwaukee,was Charles Pfister. Charles Pfister has been spotted surveying the lobby from a vantage point on the grand staircase. He is said to visit the hotel to make sure that guests are well taken care of and that the hotel is running well. This mysterious visitor has also been seen strolling through the minstrel’s gallery above the ballroom and passing through the storage area on the ninth floor.

The visitor is described in the same terms by the people who see him: “older, portly, smiling and well dressed”. Witnesses who claim to have seen the visitor and a portrait of Charles Pfister, say that the visitor is Charles Pfister.

If these reports are true, the spirit is a welcome guest at the grand hotel.

History of the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Pfister Hotel was started with the vision of Guido Pfister and his son, Charles. The Pfister vision was to create a “grand hotel of the West.” The Pfister was opened in 1893 as a grand production. The Pfister’s design was Romanseque Revival. Groundbreaking features included fireproofing, electricity throughout the hotel, its own power plant and individual thermostats controls in each room. The Imperial Ballroom, with 32 foot ceilings, quickly became a favorite venue for balls, social gatherings and weddings.

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Guido Pfister passed away in 1889, before the grand hotel was completed. Charles Pfister had a number of Milwaukee business interests. Charles had entered his father’s business, Pfister and Vogel Leather Co., in 1876 and became treasurer and president. When Guido Pfister died in 1889, Charles Pfister succeeded him in many of his large business enterprises.

Charles played a prominent role in the formation of Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Co. He also served in an executive capacity for other large firms, including First Wisconsin National Bank, Milwaukee Mechanics Insurance Co., and Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Co.

Charles Pfister acquired a large fortune through his many business ventures. Although Pfister never ran for public office, he was a large power in Wisconsin Republican Party Politics. Pfister purchased the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1900 and ran the newspaper until he sold it to Randolph Hearst in 1924. Charles Pfister passed away in 1927.

Charles Pfister had a passion for collecting art. The Victorian art collection at the Pfister Hotel is reported to be the largest collection of Victorian art in any hotel.

The Pfister was purchased by Ben Marcus in 1962. Marcus vowed to renovate the Pfister to showcase its original beauty. A new 3 story tower was added to the hotel, providing the latest in luxurious accommodations.

Today, The Pfister has 307 elegantly appointed guest rooms. Amenities include wireless high speed Internet, The Well Spa, Janice Salon at the Well Spa,, fitness facility, and indoor swimming pool There are five restaurants at the Pfister, including Mason Street Grill, Cafe at the Pfister, Cafe Rouge, Blu and Lobby Lounge.

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The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in a National Historic Hotel.

Over a century after its opening, The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee continues to offer luxurious accommodations to guests. Hopefully, Charles Pfister would be pleased.