Historic Hotels of America has included the ceiling of The Pfister lobby on its list of "2018 Top 25 Most Magnificent Ceilings and Domes."
Check out the list – which, of course, is illustrated – and you'll see that The Pfister is in some pretty great company.
The ornately painted ceiling dome, however, is not original to The Pfister, which was designed by Milwaukee architect Henry C. Koch (who also designed City Hall, Turner Hall and many other area gems), and which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.
The long barrel vault was actually an open skylight that illuminated the lobby.
As part of a 1993 renovation of the hotel, Marcus Hotels tapped Milwaukee's Conrad Schmitt Studios restoration specialists to design and execute the mural that you see today.
According to statement issued by the hotel, "muralists painted directly onto the vaulted ceiling, highlighting with hand-painted gold leaf. The soft, sky-blue scene of ethnically diverse cherubs positioned throughout the clouds and framed with 26 red shields, is intended to recall the lobby's original skylight. Central to the overall presentation of the ornate main lobby, the mural creates a sense of breathing room. Today, the lobby ceiling helps convey Guido Pfister’s original intention for the lobby space – one of inviting hospitality."
The mural really does complement the hotel's design and feel and it definitely deserves the recognition it got today from Historic Hotels of America, which according to its website, "is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with 32 charter members."
The Pfister is among those members.
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.