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Pabst Mansion

2000 W Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53233

Pabst Mansion
Photo: Sailko License: CC BY 3.0
The Pabst Mansion is a grand Flemish Renaissance Revival-styled house built in 1892 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for Captain Frederick Pabst (1836-1904), founder of the Pabst Brewing Company.
In 1848, as a 12-year-old boy, Frederick Pabst immigrated with his family from Thuringia, Germany to Milwaukee. Frederick joined the Goodrich Line steamships, working his way up from cabin boy on ships sailing Lake Michigan, eventually to captain in 1857. In 1862 the young steamship captain married Maria Best, whose father owned Best and Company, one of the largest breweries in Milwaukee. In 1864 Pabst joined the family business and within a few years was leading it. By 1874 Best & Co. was the largest brewery in the U.S., and in 1889 was renamed the Pabst Brewing Company.

The Pabst family lived at the mansion from 1892 until 1908, when the Archdiocese of Milwaukee purchased the mansion. The archdiocese moved the Baroque-styled conservatory to the east side of the Pabst house, using it as the archbishop's chapel. For the next 67 years, five Archbishops as well as many priests and sisters lived at the Pabst mansion.

In 1975 the Archdiocese put the mansion up for sale, with the hope that a historic preservation group would purchase it and restore it to its former glory. In 1978, Wisconsin Heritages, Inc., purchased the mansion, opening it to the public in May of that year. Until the purchase, the mansion had been slated to be demolished to make way for a parking structure.

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