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Mayor Hancock announces 2017 Mayor’s Design Award Winners

We are honored to have Terraza del Sol as a featured project for this year’s Mayor’s Design Awards. Terraza del Sol features 42 energy efficient one, two and three-bedroom apartments priced affordably to residents earning 30% to 60% of Area Median Income, which is between $18,000 and $43,260 per year.  Monthly rents range from $389 to $1,081 per month, depending on the size of the unit.  The 71,000 square-foot building includes a fitness room, interior bike storage and a large outdoor terrace with gathering and play space for families. Other amenities include a community lounge, media room and in-unit washers and dryers. The project was completed in December 2016 and was fully leased in April 2017

Key to the overall approach is Mi Casa Resource Center, which opened its new organizational headquarters and Family Economic and Education Center on the main floor of the building. At nearly 20,000 square feet, the space will house Mi Casa and its core partners, providing entrepreneurial training, business counseling and microloans, career training, coaching and job search assistance, financial coaching; tax preparation; English as a Second Language programs; GED test preparation and computer literacy classes, and legal consultations.  Mi Casa hopes to double its impact from 2,500 participants to 5,000 in the next three years.

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Mayor Hancock announces 2017 Mayor’s Design Award Winners

Sixteen projects honored for excellence in architecture, exterior design, placemaking

 DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development, will honor 16 projects for excellence in architecture, design and place-making during the 2017 Mayor’s Design Awards ceremony tonight at 6 p.m. at the Chambers Grant Salon of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

View a slide show and download images and descriptions of the winning projects. >>
(Photos may be credited: “Courtesy of Denver Community Planning and Development.”)

“We are here to celebrate the projects that are getting it right. Whether they are big or small, buildings or art, homes or commercial buildings – these projects truly represent the Denver that we know and love,” Mayor Hancock said.

Since 2005, the awards have been presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Winners can range from community placemaking projects to adaptive reuse of historic structures to single-family residences to major mixed-use downtown buildings. Each brings something special to Denver’s unique visual fabric and speaks to our collective commitment to building healthy, sustainable communities.

The awards ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. tonight at the Chambers Grant Salon of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex (1400 Curtis Street). The event is free and open to the public; a reception will follow. For more information on the event and the awards, visit DenverGov.org/MDA.

The 2017 Mayor’s Design Award winners are:

  • Auraria Higher Education Center 1363 9th Street
  • The Deck, 651 16th Street
  • Ashley Union Station, 1850 Chestnut Place
  • Cobbler’s Corner, 2436 W. 44th Avenue
  • Cuba Cuba Café and Bar Patio Expansion, 1173 Delaware Street
  • Illegal Pete’s on Colfax and Race, 2001 E. Colfax Avenue
  • Alchemy Creative Workspace, 66 S. Logan Street
  • Shift Workspaces-Bannock, 1001 N. Bannock Street
  • Mid-Century House Restoration, 618 South Monroe Way
  • Beloved Community, 3722 Walnut Street
  • The Blue Trees, 700 14th Street
  • Terraza del Sol, 355 S. Grove Street
  • The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block, 1850 Wazee Street
  • Seed Building and Addition, 1500 Market Street
  • Avanti Food and Beverage, 3200 N. Pecos Street
  • The Triangle Building, 1550 Wewatta Street

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BUILDING COMMUNITY: Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) is responsible for visionary city planning and ensuring safe, responsible, sustainable building. CPD regulates planning, zoning, development and maintenance of private property in Denver. We’re working hard to make Denver a great place to live, work and play! Visit DenverGov.org/CPD or follow us on Twitter at @DenverCPD.

Gorman & Co. founder looks to future by naming new CEO

Written by Larry Avila of the Wisconsin State Journal

Gary_Gorman

OREGON — Gary Gorman recognized that for the development company bearing his name to continue without him someday, he needed a leadership transition plan to ensure its future.

In mid-March Gorman & Co., which he built from a one-man operation from a basement office in summer 1984 to a company with about 250 employees and operations in five states, announced that plan. Gorman will transition the daily management of the company to Brian Swanton, the Arizona market president who will take over as CEO on Jan. 1. Gorman will still be involved with the business as chairman of its board.

Gorman, who has not determined a retirement date, said announcing a leadership succession plan now was the responsible thing to do.

“I’ll still be very involved in the company, but I’ll be less involved in the day-to-day side of things starting Jan. 1,” said Gorman, 61. “I don’t consider this retiring at all, but when you grow a business to a certain level, and when (the owner) gets over 60 years old, people do start to ask, ‘What’s next?’

“I wanted to get ahead of that question. I wanted to have input on (the future of the business) as opposed to someone else making that decision somewhere down the line.”

In the beginning

Gorman & Co. specializes in housing developments from affordable housing to upscale condominiums, and does more than $100 million in business annually. It employs about 250 people and has operations in Milwaukee, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami and Denver.

Corporate_Office

Gorman & Co. also has been very active in Madison.

The company’s recent projects include the Union Corners development continuing to rise at East Washington Avenue, Milwaukee and Winnebago streets. The company also was involved in converting space at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, a former seminary and home to the diocesan headquarters, to apartments now referred to as Holy Name Heights.

Before he got into housing development, Gorman practiced law for about four years.

“The basement office where I started my business was torn down long ago,” he said. “When I look back on it, I never expected the company to grow to the size it is today.”

Tom Capp, the current chief operating officer who will become vice chairman of the board on Jan. 1, joined Gorman about 22 years ago and led the company’s expansion outside Wisconsin, most recently to Illinois.

“We have deep roots in Wisconsin and we’ll always be a Wisconsin-based company,” Gorman said.

He said Swanton, who has grown Gorman & Co.’s business in Arizona for the past eight years, is ready for a larger role.

Gorman said establishing the future leader of the company well before his retirement also ensures to future investors the firm will be around to see projects through and it also helps in the recruitment of new employees as it looks to expand into new markets.

hallway

“Yes, I want to ensure the company continues after I’m gone, but what it’s really about when a company actively is recruiting young people that have options and they see the CEO of our company is a guy in his 60s, they may not consider us,” Gorman said.

Gorman said moving the company forward will take new thinking.

“It took a certain skill set to grow the company from zero to $100 million,” he said. “To get to that next level, it will take someone who may be better at systems and monitoring metrics, and I think Brian has the skills to continue growing the business.”

The future

Implementing a transition plan while an owner still will be involved in the business is a sound strategy, said Sherry Herwig, director of the Family Business Center at UW-Madison.

“It lets employees know that during the transition there will be some consistency and continuity,” she said. “When the new leader takes over, the employees can take comfort knowing the person who had been leading the company all along, will be there and be part of the decision-making process.”

architets

Gorman said his company’s success has been built through recruiting good people who could develop markets familiar to them.

“What I hope to see is the company experience steady but not rapid growth because companies that are the highest risk are start-ups and those that grow too rapidly,” he said. “In terms of the transition and working with Brian, I plan to work with him so he understands what he’ll have to do to be the CEO versus just being a market president.”

Gorman said once the company’s daily management is transitioned to Swanton, he will focus on special projects including finding ways to approach building projects more cost-effectively.

“I’m feeling good and I’m healthy,” Gorman said. “I’m still really interested in this business and frankly, I don’t want to retire.”

New Life for a Madison Icon: A Celebratory Mass with Bishop Robert C. Morlino marks the groundbreaking ceremonies for the redevelopment of the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center

Gorman DOM Media Release 5-1-2015

MEDIA RELEASE

Friday, May 01, 2015

For More Information:

Susanne Voeltz, for Gorman & Company, Inc.
(608) 284-0848
Brent King, Diocese of Madison
(608) 821-3033
Brent.king@straphael.org

New Life for a Madison Icon:

A Celebratory Mass with Bishop Robert C. Morlino marks groundbreaking ceremonies for the redevelopment of the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center

Historic renovation preserves on site chapel, maintains Diocesan offices and adds a vibrant new residential community

Madison, WI—May 1, 2015—Bishop Robert C. Morlino celebrated Mass for the feast of St. Joseph the Worker today, marking groundbreaking ceremonies for the redevelopment of the Bishop O’Connor Pastoral Center (BOC). Following the mass, Bishop Morlino, flanked by numerous priests of the diocese, unveiled and blessed a recently uncovered diocesan coat of arms, that embellishes the lobby floor of the BOC and dates from its days as Holy Name Seminary.

The former Holy Name Seminary, a neo-Colonial landmark that welcomed its first students in 1964, has served as the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center since the seminary was closed in 1995. The redevelopment plan for the BOC – which preserves its architectural and sacred legacy and ensures strategic stewardship for the 72.6 acre property – was grounded in years of due diligence and study on the part of diocesan councils, consultors, and leadership to determine the best possible outcome for the future of the aging and underutilized former seminary.

Gorman & Company has been engaged by the diocese to serve as the developer of the $21 million project and will provide architectural and design services for the redevelopment. Upon completion of the apartment component of the project in 2016, Gorman & Company will also manage the property. First Business Bank of Madison, WI is providing the financing for the milestone redevelopment.

In anticipation of today’s event, Bishop Morlino expressed his gratitude to all those who are making this project possible, saying “It is a win-win scenario, where the diocese not only retains this historic building, keeping our presence in this most visible sign of the diocese in the community, and preserving the legacy of Holy Name Seminary, but also where new life is breathed onto the campus, which has served the local Church so well. We are so grateful for the excellent cooperation of Gary Gorman and his expert and visionary team.”

To preserve its architectural integrity, the iconic landmark, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be renovated as a “certified historic rehabilitation” in compliance with historic preservation guidelines prescribed by the National Park Service. Whenever possible, the BOC’s significant historic and architectural elements will be preserved, refurbished and sensitively integrated into the renovation design.

Key components of the BOC renovation will be incorporating 53 new apartment homes, updating office space for the diocese, Catholic Charities, and affiliated Catholic organizations, including the Catholic Herald and Catholic Radio, and upgrading office and kitchen facilities for Blue Plate Catering. The project will also allow Catholic Charities of Madison to bring more of their agents under one roof.

The on-site Cletus O’Donnell Holy Name Chapel will be maintained and preserved and will continue to offer daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration during and after the BOC renovation. The chapel interior   is noted for its 360-piece mosaic, assembled in Germany, that rises three-stories behind the altar, and for its dramatic stained glass windows that were crafted in a palette of blues and pastels by the renowned Conrad Schmitt Studios.

The new residential community at the BOC, to be known as Holy Name Heights, will be comprised of 53 one and two-bedroom apartment homes that will combine contemporary living with a historic setting for a special sense of place. Units will be appointed with granite kitchen countertops and islands, stainless steel appliances, luxe plank flooring throughout, efficient cooling and heating systems, and a high speed Wi-Fi network. A guest suite will be available to rent by residents for visiting family and friends. Each unit will have an enclosed, heated parking stall and availability for bike storage as well.

Residents will have access to a host of amenities that are unique to the architectural landmark, including two interior courtyards with cloistered, arched walkways and a full size gymnasium-prime for pick-up basketball games. A wine lounge with a fireplace, stylish seating and a covered balcony offering panoramic views of the city and the Capitol, a theater room, a dance movement studio and fitness center are planned as well. The richly landscaped grounds of the BOC also feature 2.5 miles of walking trails for leisurely strolls or quick sprints.

To recognize and celebrate the BOC’s historic and cultural significance, Gorman & Company will create a dedicated space for a “History Lounge” on the lower level of the building below the chapel. In partnership with the diocese, Gorman & Company will curate a display of memorabilia and photographs chronicling the history of Holy Name Seminary. On site office tenants, residents, and visitors will have a chance to view the collection and learn about the BOC’s spiritual legacy in a warm and inviting setting.

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Rebuilding a Dream: America’s new urban crisis, the housing cost explosion, and how we can reinvent the American dream for all

Excerpt from the book by Andre F. Shashaty

In America’s Rust Belt, many communities were hit hard by the foreclosure crises, compounding a long struggle with economic woes. On Milwaukee’s north side, a local real estate developer used the housing tax credit to help address the scars left by foreclosures there.

Gorman & Co., Inc., took a bite out of two prevailing problems in its Milwaukee neighborhood—foreclosures and unemployment. Focusing within a two-mile area, Gorman purchased vacant lots from the city to build 40 single-family homes for rent to lower-income families. This infill development helped restore the vitality and stability of the area.

But the firm did not stop there. It also substantially rehabilitated a series of duplexes that were in dilapidated condition to provide another 40 affordable units and preserve the neighborhood’s character.

“It has stabilized the neighborhood,” said Ted Matkom, Wisconsin market president for the firm. “It has eliminated blight. When you drive down the street it looks like a new subdivision.”

Known as the Northside Housing Initiative, the project also helped address unemployment, which stood at 50 percent for African-Americans. Gorman partnered with the Northcott Neighborhood House to train youths and adults with troubled backgrounds to work in construction. More than 50 full-time jobs were created for graduates of the program during construction, giving them valuable experience on top of their training.

Resident of the single-family homes will have an opportunity to buy their houses at the end of the federally mandated 15 –year rental period.

The new homes are part of a forward-looking decision by the city at the height of the foreclosure crises. City leaders recognized that homes could be acquired inexpensively, giving the city the ability to take control of not just individual homes but entire blocks and neighborhoods. This control would be essential to helping stabilize areas with high rates of foreclosure.

The $16.4 million Northside Housing Initiative is made up of two low-income housing tax credit projects that target families earning no more than 50 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.

It is a prime example of how private developers and corporations looking to reduce their tax liability are working with cities to address local housing and community revitalization goals.

Former seminary could be transformed into housing community

By Brent King, Communications Director, Diocese of Madison, for the Catholic Herald, September 26, 2013

MADISON — A Madison icon, the former Holy Name Seminary, a neo-colonial revival landmark that welcomed its first students in 1964 and has served as the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center (BOC) since the seminary was closed in 1995, may be transformed into a multi-family housing community, officials at the Diocese of Madison announced September 25.

The diocese signed a letter of intent with Gorman & Company to enter exclusive negotiations for a development contract and 60-year lease agreement to renovate the building as a “certified historic rehabilitation” in compliance with historic preservation guidelines prescribed by the National Park Service.

According to the letter of intent, the Diocese of Madison would retain ownership of the BOC land to be leased, as well as determination over the future use of the approximately 72-acre Bishop O’Connor Center.

The landmark building that would be redeveloped by Gorman would revert to diocesan control at the end of the 60-year lease period. In the interim, the diocese would relocate its administrative offices, and those of Catholic Charities and its family of other tenants, on a mutually convenient date before construction starts.

The diocese retains the right to approve the final redevelopment plan — which calls for residential use — before a binding lease is executed.

Gorman & Company has agreed that the O’Donnell Chapel, located at the center of the building, would be sensitively preserved in a manner consented to by the diocese. Both parties would also jointly approve an appropriate name for the redevelopment that reflects the historic significance of the property, for Catholics of the Madison Diocese.

Looking to future

In commending the potential of the BOC redevelopment project, for the future of the diocese and the partnership with Gorman & Company, Bishop Robert C. Morlino observed: “While giving thanks to God for all His gifts in the past, and for the tremendous blessings of the present, this project allows us, in a very concrete way, to look forward to the Church in the future.

“Although growth nearly always involves some level of sacrifice, this project, carried out with an excellent partner, will allow the Church to preserve, for the long term, Her material goods, while focusing most urgently on that which is most precious — the faith of Her people.”

The diocese’s decision to sign a letter of intent with Gorman & Company to repurpose the building is grounded in years of due diligence through its committee and leadership structure to determine the future of the aging and underutilized seminary building.

A strategic stewardship plan for the BOC’s assets is a key element in supporting the diocese’s goals, including the cultivation of future Church leadership through the dynamic growth of the diocese’s seminarian program, which has quintupled under the direction of Bishop Morlino in the past 10 years.

Engaged experts

As part of its multi-staged evaluation process, the diocese engaged several recognized experts, including Kothe Real Estate Partners and zumBrunnen — a national leader in facilities forecasting — to assess the financial viability of the BOC and to help forge viable options to address the building’s aging structural and systems issues.

Among the findings by the diocese’s consultants were that the Bishop O’Connor Center will require over $15 million in capital improvements during the next 30 years, but only sustain an average projected building utilization rate of 36 percent.

Despite the diocese’s strategies of diversifying the tenant base, which includes administrative offices for the diocese and other Catholic non-profit organizations, apartment suites for active and retired priests, conference and meeting space, retreat guest rooms, as well as a catering business — the 232,000-square-foot building was never designed for mixed use and offers only 59 percent leasable space, creating an ongoing operating challenge.

Diocesan officials observed that the concept to repurpose the building as housing (which was proposed by Gary Gorman after the diocese approached him for assistance in identifying sensitive and reality-based solutions) offers a singular opportunity for a historically sensitive development that is highly compatible with the neighborhood and guided by a local Catholic developer who has established a national reputation and outstanding track record for award-winning historic preservation projects:

“In a search for a respectful, viable, and exciting solution for the future use of the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, we prudently sought professional advice from internal and external leadership. Ultimately, this led to seeking the expertise of Gary Gorman based on his leadership and involvement with Catholic Charities and All Saints Senior Neighborhood, along with his extensive professional experience on a national scale with adaptive reuse of significant and historic buildings through Gorman and Company, Inc.,” remarked Msgr. James Bartylla, vicar general of the Diocese of Madison.

“Gary’s creative proposed solution of adaptive reuse of the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, that retains diocesan ownership, respects the historic legacy of the property, and compliments the character of the neighborhood and needs of the community, is a testament not only to his professionalism but also his active Catholic faith. We’re grateful for his critical contribution to this proposed project.”

If the Gorman development moves forward, diocesan officials predict savings on BOC operations in the range of $500,000 annually, as well as a positive revenue stream over the life of the lease to help sustain its numerous ministries and parishes throughout the diocese.

For more information about the Diocese of Madison, its mission, outreach, and apostolates, visit www.madisondiocese.org

Priests comment on proposal
Msgr. Michael Burke, pastor, St. Maria Goretti Parish, Madison

“My priesthood has been linked for over 40 years to the building, grounds, and wonderful history of the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center: as a student, instructor, vocation director/recruiter, and rector of Holy Name Seminary for 19 years, as well as being the current pastor of St. Maria Goretti Parish area in which the center is located. For nearly two decades after the closing of Holy Name Seminary, we have seen many noble and worthy attempts to operate the facility as effectively and efficiently as possible, even though its large size and initial design as a seminary doesn’t lend itself to such a use. I’ve been a member of the finance council of the Diocese of Madison and for over two years we have investigated with diocesan staff, Bishop Morlino, and consultants to come up with a proposal on the effective use of this property. Today’s proposal before Bishop Morlino and the Diocese of Madison presents us with the opportunity to retain ownership of the building and property, reduce our operating and capital costs, design more modern, cost effective and efficient office space for diocesan personnel, and carefully weigh how this beloved property may benefit the Diocese of Madison in the future.

“My dad took me to the dedication of the seminary 50 years ago. Bishop O’Connor, Bishop Hastrich, Bishop O’Donnell, and Bishop Wirz gave their life and ministry to this sacred property. If Bishop Morlino approves this proposal it will greatly honor the efforts of these Bishops and all the people who have been associated with this sacred ground. May the Holy Spirit and Holy Name of Jesus continue to guide us in the future. Keep hope alive.”

Msgr. Daniel Ganshert, pastor, St. Henry Parish and St. Bernard Parish, Watertown

“Fifty years ago the people of the Diocese of Madison contributed to the construction of a building to honor the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

“For me it has become a brick and mortar sermon on the mount where countless people continue to be blessed by its existence. This new development will assure its future as a landmark for generations to come.”

Fr. Randy Timmerman, pastor, St. Dennis Parish, Madison; Holy Name Seminary graduate

“This plan is courageous for the needs of today and prudent for the future of the diocese.”

 

April opening for the Brewhouse Inn & Suites at former Pabst building

Announced by the Madison based property developer Gorman and Co., the new $15 million hotel financed by foreign investors should be up and running by April of next year. Ground breaking of the new hotel started October 17th of last year on the former Pabst brew house and mill building site at northwest corner of Juneau Ave. and 10th Street. The new ninety-room Brewhouse Inn & Suites extended stay hotel had an approximate fourteen months construction schedule set for completion.

As an industry leader since 1984, Gorman & Company are known for their innovative community revitalization projects specializing in preservation and rehabilitation, workforce affordable housing, and important historic buildings adaptive reuse projects and more. According to Ted Matkom of Gorman Co., they were hoping to complete the project before schedule, but minor installation delays of furnishings, fixtures, and in-house equipment kept the project opening date expectation until April 2013.

A big challenge was installation of the new windows. The existing Pabst brewery building has over 300 windows of various shapes and sizes including nine-foot tall arched windows on the historic brick façade of the building. Specialty neo-Victorian industrial lighting has also been installed to give a Steampunk feel of the space you won’t find at the traditional chain hotels. In the atrium the original columns are kept and painted to comply with fire proofing code standards and new railing are being added to slowly finish the lower level atrium and lobby.

In addition to interior building renovation of the new Brewhouse Inn & Suites, work is also taking place on the outside beer garden expected to be complete by spring 2013. This outdoor space is dedicated as a family and friends area to grab a beer, relax and socialize enjoying the new historic revitalized preservation atmosphere.

http://www.examiner.com/article/grand-opening-of-the-brewhouse-inn-suites

The conversion of the 1877 Pabst Brewhouse into The Brewhouse Inn & Suites is nearing completion. The scheduled opening date for the new hotel located at the The Brewery complex is Thursday, April 25th. The hotel will mix history, beer, and fantasy into a Steampunk dream. When complete, the four-story, Cream City brick building will have 90 suites and feature exposed brick, copper, and wood throughout the hotel. Visual highlights of the hotel include a five-story atrium, which is home to the original six brew kettles, a stained glass window of the patron saint of brewing, King Gambrinus, and a front desk that’s a PBR dream — it’s built out of countless Pabst Blue Ribbon bottles.

http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2013/03/08/friday-photos-inside-the-brewhouse-inn/

New life being breathed into Milwaukee’s former Pabst Brewery

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The recent history of the historic Pabst Brewery’s buildings 20 and 21 does not provide particularly pretty pictures. But these days, what was old is new again.

Laura Narduzzi is with Madison-based developers, Gorman and Company. It is responsible for developing portions of the former brewery into the current Brewhouse Inn and Suites.

“Everything that we did, in the design and construction process, was to try and preserve as much of we could of what this building originally was,” said Narduzzi.

Visitors can see the fruit of that labor in everything from the restored, stained glass to the old brewery kettles — from the spiral staircase to the Cream City brick.

Brewhouse Inn and Suites

“We’re just thinking the vision of what this can be, and what it can mean to Milwaukee — to start to bring people to this area, again, because it’s so important to the history of Milwaukee,” said Narduzzi.

Narduzzi says even weeks away from the hotel’s opening, the buzz is getting bigger and bringing folks around to take a peek at the progress.

“They’re saying, ‘We’re so glad this is what you’re doing. We’re so glad you preserved that building, and you’re keeping the history of Milwaukee alive,’” said Narduzzi.

The Brewhouse Inn and Suites is set to open on Thursday, April 25th.

Pabst and Milwaukee Becoming Synonymous Again

Peter Northard is the General Manager of The Brewhouse Inn & Suites in Milwaukee. He has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including VISIT Milwaukee, and the Greater Milwaukee Hotel Lodging Association, twice serving as President of the WHLMA.

In 1996, the Pabst Brewing Company shuttered their operations in Milwaukee, ending the company’s more than a century of brewing beer in the city. In Milwaukee’s early days, Pabst had been an integral part of the growth of the city. At one time it was the largest brewer in the world, one of the city’s leading employers and hosted countless visitors to Milwaukee for brewery tours. Pabst was more than a brewery, it was a Milwaukee icon. In its heyday the brewery covered 20 acres of downtown Milwaukee, and at the time of the closing, included 21 buildings, many of which were built before the turn of the 20th century.

As the fortunes of the Pabst Beer brand declined, so did the site of the former brewery. Abandoned for a decade, it was not until 2006, when Milwaukee philanthropist Joseph Zilber bought the entire Pabst complex that the rebirth of the site began. Determined to give back to the city that had given so much to him, Zilber set out to create an entire community at the Pabst complex, one built with sustainable building practices, which would save and repurpose as many of the historic buildings as possible.

The result of Zilber’s vision was The Brewery, one of five LEED Platinum sustainable neighborhoods in the world. Home to the UWM Zilber School of Public Health, Cardinal Stritch University, apartments, professional offices, and the soon to open Brewhouse Inn & Suites and Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, The Brewery fulfilled the late Mr. Zilber’s dream for the area.

As The Brewery began to rise from the rubble, the Pabst brand had a rebirth of its own. Discovered by the twenty something crowd, in recent years PBR has experienced some of the fastest growth of any mainstream beer in the country. It is only fitting that as the Pabst brand has risen, the building where it was brewed for over a hundred years is coming back to life as well.

Opening on April 25th, The Brewhouse Inn and Suites occupy the former brewhouse and mill house buildings at The Brewery. The Brewhouse retains many of the original features including the five-story kettle atrium with six enormous copper brewing kettles, wrought iron spiral staircase, and the two-story stained glass window of King Gambrinus, the patron saint of brewing.

Built in 1882, the hotel now has modern room amenities including a fully equipped kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, electric cooktop, and dishwasher. The headboards and dining tables in each room are made from timbers repurposed from the building during the renovation. Harvested near Sheboygan in the 1880’s, they are a perfect example of how the hotel has reused as much of the original building as possible during the process of converting it from a brewery into a hotel. The Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub is perfect for a quick refreshment or a full meal. In summer, the outdoor beer garden will be the perfect spot to end the day and take in some live entertainment.

The Pabst name is associated with several other must see attractions in Milwaukee.

The Pabst Mansion, located just west of The Brewery, was the home of the brewery’s namesake Captain Frederick Pabst. Built in 1892, this 20,000 square mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been meticulously restored to its original splendor. It houses many of the families original papers and photographs, which offer a unique perspective on the life and times of one of Milwaukee’s original beer barons.

Another must see is the Pabst Theater, which was built in 1895 by Captain Pabst as a gift to the community after the opera house, Das Neue Deutsche Stadt-Theater burned down. Today a non-profit corporation spearheaded by another Milwaukee philanthropist, Michael Cudahy runs the Pabst Theater. It is a perfect place to catch new musical talent or get reacquainted with old favorites making a regular stop on national tours.

Finally, The Best Place at The Pabst Brewery is a great spot to learn more about Pabst and the brewing history of the city. Proprietor Jim Haertel gives tours and explains the history from the founding in 1844 by Jacob Best, to its spot today as the twenty something beer of choice. Each tour includes a large sample of PBR or Schlitz, two of Milwaukee’s most famous products. With a gift shop stocked with Pabst memorabilia, visitors are certain to find a part of Milwaukee to take home with them.

If you like history, or enjoy a cold brew now and then, be sure to make a visit to Milwaukee part of your plans this summer.

Peter Northard is the General Manager of The Brewhouse Inn & Suites in Milwaukee. In his thirty-year hotel career, Northard has managed numerous branded properties such as Holiday Inn and Radisson, as well as boutique hotels including The Brewhouse Inn & Suites. He has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including VISIT Milwaukee, and the Greater Milwaukee Hotel Lodging Association, twice serving as President of the WHLMA. He currently resides in Grafton with his wife Lynne and their Bichon Frise Sophie. A lover of Wisconsin summers, when not working, he can be found biking the Ozaukee Interurban Trail or golfing on one of Wisconsin’s many magnificent golf courses.

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