The Pfister Hotel – where I am the current Pfister Narrator / writer in residence – celebrated its 120th anniversary on Thursday, Nov. 21. Although a 120-candle birthday cake might have been fun, The Pfister decided to go with something more permanent and less flammable.
"We wanted to do something special for the 120th anniversary. We previously had never lit the exterior of the building, but after a little experimenting, realized how strategic lighting could really help highlight the building's architecture," says Cassy Scrima, director of marketing for the Marcus Hotels.
Hence, the historic section of the building now features white lighting and the tower side will change colors in conjunction with various holidays and special events hosted at the hotel.
The new lighting was switched on during a special ceremony which took place on Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m. on Jefferson Street – which was blocked off to traffic. During the ceremony, The Pfister’s general manager Paul Ohm spoke for a few minutes before Greg Marcus took over the mic and later flipped a massive switch to illuminate the building and tower.
These lights, which took about four weeks to install, will remain throughout the year.
The illumination ceremony was tied into the Historic Hotels of America’s annual conference which took place Nov. 19-21 at The Pfister. The event brought more than 75 historic hoteliers from across the country to Milwaukee.
During the conference, the Marcus family was honored with the Heritage Award in recognition for their exemplary historic hotel and leadership practices.
Since 1994, The Pfister has been a member of Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which identifies quality hotels that have maintained their historic integrity, architecture and ambience.