Knickerbocker Hotel (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

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Knickerbocker Hotel
Knickerbocker Hotel Milwaukee.jpg
Knickerbocker Hotel
Location 1028 E. Juneau Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Coordinates 43°02′46″N 87°53′55″W / 43.0460°N 87.8987°W / 43.0460; -87.8987Coordinates: 43°02′46″N 87°53′55″W / 43.0460°N 87.8987°W / 43.0460; -87.8987
Architect Rossman & Wierdsma
Architectural style Classical Revival
NRHP Reference # 88000680[1]
Added to NRHP June 2, 1988
For the old Knickerbocker Hotel (New York), see: The Knickerbocker Hotel (Manhattan)

The Knickerbocker Hotel (also Knickerbocker on the Lake) is a hotel in the Yankee Hill neighborhood of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[2] It was built in 1929 as an eight-story residential apartment hotel. In 1988 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]


The Knickerbocker's neighborhood was called Yankee Hill because many of Milwaukee's early leaders living there in the 1800s were Yankees from New England. They liked the neighborhood because it was close to the downtown and had nice views along Lake Michigan. It was also part of Milwaukee's "Gold Coast". By 1900 many of the prominent Yankees living there had been replaced by prominent German and Irish.[2]

After 1900 many of the big old single-family homes were divided into rooming houses, and some were razed to make space for apartment buildings and residential hotels. These allowed more middle and upper-class people to live at a prestigious address close to downtown without the cost or trouble of maintaining their own free-standing home. The Astor Hotel was one like this, built in 1916 and expanded in 1925. Very similar, the Knickerbocker was built just up Juneau Avenue in 1929.[2]

The Knickerbocker was designed by architects Rossman & Wierdsma of Milwaukee in late Neo-Classical Revival style, somewhat simplified as fashion shifted toward Art Deco and more modern styles. The building was generally U-shaped, eight stories tall. The exterior is reddish brick decorated with terra cotta. The first two floors are covered with terra cotta panels. The eighth floor is set off with a terra cotta cornice. The windows on that floor are surrounded by pilasters and window hoods decorated with wreaths and foliage. Inside, the first floor housed an elegant lobby and retail space. Above that each floor held about 30 apartments.[2]

As of 2017 the Knickerbocker bills itself a boutique hotel, with suites decorated in styles varying from Victorian to French Country.[4] The majority of the rooms are now owner-occupied.[citation needed]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d Carol Lohry Cartwright (1988-03-01). "NRHP Inventory/Nomination: Knickerbocker Hotel" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-02-26.  With 5 photos.
  3. ^ "Knickerbocker Hotel". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  4. ^ "The Knickerbocker on the Lake". Retrieved 2016-02-27. 

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