Take a Tour of Beer Baron Frederick Pabst's Milwaukee Mansion
As part of a summer series, T+L is highlighting amazing lesser-known attractions found in the United States. Next up: a Milwaukee beer baron's Gilded Age mansion.
Beer, as they say, made Milwaukee famous, and for visitors to Wisconsin's largest city, there’s almost no end to brewery tours. But for those who want to tap into how one of the city's beer barons actually lived, one of the most fun things to do in Milwaukee is a guided walking tour of Captain Frederick Pabst's mansion.
There’s a lot to take in while touring this 37-room, 20,000-square-foot Gilded Age mansion, which was completed in 1892. Highlights include the hops buds carved into the staircase banister (a sign of the original owner’s profession) and the 14 hidden compartments in Pabst’s study. Attached to the mansion is the domed Otto Strack-designed Pabst Pavilion, which was originally part of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
At one point in its history, The Pabst Mansion was in danger of being replaced by a parking lot. Fortunately, it's now a protected member of the National Register of Historic Places. Because this site is actively being restored, visitors can watch behind-the-scenes work on this house-museum.
Guided tours at The Pabst Mansion are held year round, and occur at the top of the hour, with the last tour departing at 3 p.m. Tours are 75-minutes long and are first come, first served. Admission is $12 for adults, and $11 for seniors and college students. Kids between the ages of 6 and 17 can enter for $7, and children under 6 get in for free.