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Ambassador Hotel
Featured site: Doors Open Milwaukee

Built: 1927

Architect: Urban Peacock and Armin Frank

The Ambassador Hotel has been a fixture on the west side of downtown Milwaukee for almost ninety years, after its doors first opened in 1928. Designed in 1927 by architects Urban Peacock and Armin Frank, the structure boasts many of the hallmarks of Art Deco design in its stylish interior. Its gleaming marble floors, stylized polished nickel sconces, bronze elevator doors, and ornate plasterwork made the hotel a favorite spot for society weddings, notable gatherings, and countless guests, both famous and infamous.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the hotel and the surrounding area fell into disrepair. The hotel was purchased in 1995 by an alumnus of neighboring Marquette University, and a slow, painstaking restoration took place over the next decade. The restoration totally revamped the hotel’s image and vastly improved the entire neighborhood, while keeping the Art Deco architecture and many of the design elements meticulously authentic.

The Ambassador Hotel’s ambitious $14 million restoration has served as a cornerstone in the rebirth of the surrounding neighborhood and its bold rooftop sign once again beckons guests to enjoy a true Milwaukee legend. Rooms were reconfigured to allow for more spacious accommodations and gleaming new bathrooms were installed. Dropped ceilings and drywall were removed to reveal intricate details and archways, along with vintage radios.

Visitors will enjoy the option to complete a guided, or self-guided, tour of the property, and see why the Ambassador is once again one of Milwaukee’s premier hotels. Guided tours will cover the history of the hotel, insights into the hotel’s restoration process, a look at the current offerings of the hotel’s restaurants, and more! Visitors will also have the opportunity to view memorabilia and photographs that have been collected throughout the hotel’s colorful history.

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