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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dashing Through the Snow Flurries

It was just flurries, but it kept up off and on all day today as I dashed around downtown Milwaukee.  The highest I saw the temperature readout in my car achieve was 28F and the wind felt like it wanted to take a layer of skin right off.  Ah, Wisconsin!

As I mentioned before we're considering a couple of days in Milwaukee soon and I wanted to check out some hotels due to my many allergy concerns.  The Ambassador was first on my list for its Art Deco charm and will be in the running for a future visit but not this year since they've installed new carpet in the rooms and I detected the fumes right away.  The hotel is also not technically in the downtown area but it's not far and they have a shuttle available.  They also have a friendly staff, lower prices than the downtown hotels and their renovation work is top notch.  I'll save those pics for a separate post.

The neighborhood includes some other buildings of interest including the darling Sheridan Apartments building across the street. The building was always used for apartments from what little I could find on the internet and was built in 1926.  That makes sense since the Ambassador Hotel across the street was built around the same time.

Neo-classical elements

Also across the street is The Rave, a venue my kids have attended a few times for concerts and all four of us went there to see Great Big Sea many years ago.  From Wikipedia: Since its construction in 1926, The Eagles Club has known several incarnations. Prominently among them, it housed the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, a notable organization whose considerable impacts on America’s cultural landscape remain in effect today. The Eagles pushed for the foundation of Mother’s Day, provided the impetus for a national Social Security program, and campaigned to eliminate job discrimination on the basis of age. Notable former Eagles include Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. The building now operates as The Rave / Eagles Club, a purveyor of music to Milwaukee for twenty years.

Another Art Deco building not too far away that I spied after I left the Ambassador Hotel was Carpenter Tower.  It was absorbed into Marquette University's campus and is used as a residence hall.  Dig those chevrons!

After hitting a few of the hotels on my list I went to Whole Foods for some goodies and I had to pull over to get a closer look at this ornament at the bottom of a flag pole in Juneau Park not far from the Milwaukee Art Museum.

 I haven't made a decision on which hotel to stay at yet, but top of the list for those with allergies has to be the Hotel Metro.  They have a whole floor devoted to pampering folks like me, and you can find other hotels who go that extra mile at this website.  It's pretty pricey, otherwise I wouldn't hesitate to just go ahead with it.  The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Madison also features "pure" rooms so I'll have to check them out next time I'm in the area.

Hotel Metro lobby - great Art Deco doors

In the running is the Intercontinental. It's got a clean modern look that isn't my first choice but the rooms are spacious, reasonably priced, and not only were there no air fresheners or strong cleaning products used but it was within easy walking distance to many attractions on my list, including City Hall!

City Hall

The third hotel I'm considering is the Hilton Garden Inn, which I've photographed and shared here before.  (Was that really a year and a half ago?  Where does the time go?)  The staff wasn't as friendly but the location is great and I can even reserve a room with a stunning view of the Mackie Building.  What to do???


  1. As the saying goes, you pay your money and take your choice. Must be hard looking for the right place.

  2. Beautiful buildings. I'm sure it will be a hard choice. Did you guys get a bunch of snow? We got some freezing rain but our mountains got a foot. Woo-hoo! Now all I have to do is get my darn foot healed so I can go skiing. :)