This mansion was built by Frederick (Fred) Pabst, Jr., the son of Captain Pabst of Pabst Brewing (whose home is available to visit at 2000 West Wisconsin). One of the first elegant homes completed on Highland Blvd., construction occurred between 1896 and 1898 (architects Max Fernekes and Walter Dolliver). The home’s Classic Resurgence (or Neoclassical Revival) style was influenced by the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago where Pabst Beer won its blue ribbon. The mansion is dominated by a handsome portico supported by four fluted Ionic columns each fashioned from a monolithic limestone block. The structure is constructed of finely pointed yellow pressed brick, trimmed with cut and carved limestone, wrought iron, and copper.
Pabst sold the mansion in 1919 to Thomas Neancy, another prominent businessman, whose family allowed the house to be used as the First Unity Center of Practical Christianity in the 1930s. In later years the home was converted to a boarding house before being sold to a professional association. In 1996 restoration began to return it to a single-family home.
In 2001 the property was purchased by Cream City Properties, which converted the second floor of the main building into studio space and continued the entry floor restoration; this building is now the offices of Quorum Architects. The stables were completely renovated into the offices of Cream City Construction, a firm specializing in rehabbing older homes. Retaining much of the stable interior motif, the structure was carefully cleaned and mechanical systems upgraded. The thoughtful conversion means the last grand mansion on Highland Blvd. is flourishing well into its second century.
Historic photos courtesy of the Pabst Mansion.