Location – Milwaukee, WI
Built in – 1890
Square footage – 20,000
Bi-weekly cleaning quote – $840 (for 12,000 square feet)
We sent Jodi Jensen of Peace of Mind Concierge Service to the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee to get their opinion of what a cleaning quote for that beautiful home would be. Here’s Jodi’s story:
It was a little hard to find, as we journeyed out on a chilly day recently. The Pabst Mansion now sits smack dab in the middle of office suites, a hotel, and a funeral home on the outskirts of downtown Milwaukee on Wisconsin Avenue. The street was previously known as Grand Avenue before the name changed to Wisconsin Avenue, and this was known as “Mansion Row.” Several mansions lined this street until people realized that their land was more valuable than their homes, due to the central location. Most of the mansions were sold and the homes were knocked down to make room for commercial buildings. However, the Pabst Mansion remained, as it still does today.
Construction on the Pabst Mansion (funded by the Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer fortune) started in 1890 and was completed in 1892. It was designed by George Bowman Ferry and Alfred Charles Clas for just over $254, 000, that equivalent of $32.7 million in today’s dollars. The Pabst family resided in the home until Captain Frederick’s passing and the decedents sold it in 1908. It then became the archbishop’s residence and the center of the Roman Catholic Arch diocese of Milwaukee for more than 60 years. In 1975 the mansion was almost torn down to make way for a parking lot for the hotel next door, but after a three year battle for preservation it was spared, and went on to become an award-winning museum and placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1979.
The home seems so extravagant it’s hard to imagine living there.
On to the tour!
The Pabst Mansion is now a museum, and we entered through the gift shop to meet our docent, Diane. This woman has been involved with the house since 1983 and is filled with so much knowledge about this extraordinary exhibit! As we left the gift shop area, we walked right into the formal dining room. My goodness, the amount of elegance, beauty, and detail was so grand it almost took my breath away. Each room on the main level is just as magnificent as the others, and each had its own theme.
I was amazed by the ornate woodwork, gold-foiled wallpaper, high ceilings, fireplaces, and the 14 hidden compartments in the Captain’s study! There are 14 fireplaces in the home, and rumor has it that the only one ever used was the one in the reception area off of the front entrance where the butler would greet you. Brrrr! In Milwaukee during the winter you could really use those other 13 fireplaces!
The main level was primarily for gatherings and parties, while the second floor is where the family lived and the third floor was for guests. As grand as each room was, the bathrooms were very small compared to what we associate a Master Bath with in this day and age.
Alterations have been made over the years to accommodate the museum’s staff and because no one resides there any longer. An elevator was installed in 1970, deconstructing the kitchen which was no longer needed. Therefore, establishing a cleaning quote provided unique challenges. In comparison to other companies, our company provides the simple basic aspects of dusting, vacuuming, and washing floors— nothing that would handle any of the hardwood floors that are throughout the house.
At 12,000 square feet, the total would come to $840, including the servants’ quarters but excluding the walk-in attic and basement.
At a rate of $40/hour per person, I estimated that each level would take a two person team three hours, brining it to a bi-weekly quote of $720 for the “living quarters.” By also cleaning the servants’ quarters, that would add an additional $120, bringing the total to $840.
The 20,000 square feet of the home includes a full walk-in attic along with a full basement which is not included in the quote. Therefore, the quote is for approximately 12,000 square feet of the home. All in all, the home seems so extravagant, like something out of a movie, it’s hard to imagine living there, but the Peace of Mind staff would certainly embrace the opportunity to clean this historical masterpiece.
Jodi Jensen of Peace of Mind Concierge Service cares about providing high-quality, eco-friendly cleaning services. If you’re in the Milwaukee area, be sure to book her for your next cleaning service.