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Friday, November 14, 2014

Magical Art Deco Restoration at the Ambassador Hotel

The Ambassador Hotel has been around for 86 years, and recently underwent a thorough 10 year renovation. When the current owner bought the property 18 years ago he had a lot of work ahead removing drop ceilings and layers of paint and neglect.  The Ambassador was built in 1928 and designed by architects Urban Peacock and Armin Frank.  Its Art Deco details show signs of Egyptian Revival, a popular sub-motif prompted in part by archeologist Howard Carter’s 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb.

Rooftop sign is original!

The hotel has a rich history, including the lounge entertainment being provided by a young pianist from West Allis in the 1930's who went on to become Liberace!  The hotel is in the Avenues West neighborhood, which is striving to make a comeback.

 It may not seem like much from the street, but it really shines once you walk through the doors.

The lobby features gorgeous marble and terrazzo floors that were previously hidden under carpet, and drop ceilings were hiding beautiful designs pressed into the metal and plaster.  Other historic notables  who've visited the hotel were Presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy who spoke to a United Chemical Workers convention here, and the Beatles stayed here in 1964.  On the not so wonderful side, Jeffrey Dahmer killed one of his victims here in 1987 and before the hotel was renovated it was a spot that invited prostitution and drug dealing.

Can you believe these nickel plated light fixtures were covered in layers of paint?  I'm glad they've restored this property and I really do want to stay here after the VOCs from the recently recarpeted rooms have dissipated.  The room they showed me even had a large whirlpool tub for much less than the other properties I looked at, the staff was amazingly friendly, they offer a covered parking garage, a fitness center, two restaurants, and complimentary shuttle service to downtown.


  1. Great building. Howard Carter used lived about 20 miles from me, they film Downton Abbey there.
    Like the selfie though I tough you would have used live view & the touch screen

  2. Let's hope this lovely hotel can make it now.