By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 09, 2022 at 5:52 PM

For many years, entrance to The Pabst Mansion, 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave., has been through the pavilion attached to the east side of the mansion, designed by Ferry & Clas for beer baron Captain Frederick Pabst.

Because that building – constructed for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and moved to Milwaukee at the end of the fair – is fragile, there’s long been talk of opening a separate visitors center for the 1892 mansion, which offers tours and hosts events, including a summer beer garden.

new shopX

Though there had been talk of building one directly across Wisconsin Avenue, on Friday, The Pabst Mansion will host a ribbon cutting for its new visitors center and gift shop in the building directly west of the mansion, The Marq, at 2024 W. Wisconsin Ave.

“With this new space available, it allowed it to be on the same side of the street and without the large investment that a stand-alone, new building would cost,” says Executive Director Mame McCully. “At this time, that was the best option for the organization so that we can focus dollars on the mansion’s preservation.”

The bright and airy shop sells tour tickets, has a flexible education space and a gift shop that’s far less cramped than the experience long crammed into the 1893 pavilion.

shopX

The new shop is easily accessible from the street and sidewalk and because it’s free-standing, there’s no need to pay admission before you can access the gift shop, which has a range of items, including books, T-shirts, baseball caps, glassware, special Vennture Brew Co. coffee, dog treats made from upcycled spent beer grain and more, all Milwaukee- and/or Pabst-themed.

On one wall inside is a huge vintage photo of the Pabst Mansion.

The education space will be used for presentations, hosting school groups and other events.

wall
(PHOTO: Courtesy of The Pabst Mansion)
X

“We are excited to open the shop that allows for an expanded visitor experience with more space including a small presentation room, gift shop and waiting area,” adds McCully.

Removing the shop and ticketing from the pavilion should help relieve pressure on that structure, which has been undergoing restoration for a number of years.

"The last round of work on the pavilion was completed recently but any additional attention is a large task," says McCully. "Due to its fragile state, having the shop outside this space will allow us to better study the space."

The ribbon cutting event is set for Friday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the shop, and will include McCully, VISIT Milwaukee’s Peggy Williams-Smith and other area dignitaries.

the mansionX

It is free and open to all and everyone is welcome to attend the opening reception.

For more information, visit pabstmansion.com or call (414) 931-0808.

To learn more about the history of mansion and how it was saved from demolition, click here.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.