Our History

Learn More About One Of the Most Historic Hotels in Wisconsin

Since the hotel’s opening in 1923, Walter Schroeder (the original owner of the hotel) had a vision to create the Hotel Retlaw as one of the finest hotels in the State of Wisconsin. The eight-story neoclassical hotel in red brick with its cornice and façade detailing shows the attention to detail that was not overlooked in buildings of the era. It’s no coincidence that the name Retlaw, if you haven’t guessed it yet, is his first name backwards.

Schroeder developed several other noteworthy hotels in Wisconsin, which included: The Schroeder Hotel (now the Hilton Milwaukee), The Astor on the Lake (now The Astor Hotel), and Hotel Wisconsin —all in Milwaukee. In addition, he was the driving force behind Hotel Northland in Green Bay; Hotel Loraine (now Loraine Condominiums) in Madison; Hotel Wausau (now the Landmark Building) in Wausau and the Hotel Duluth (now called Greysolon Plaza) in Duluth, MN.

Designed by the Milwaukee firm of Herbert W. Tullgren & Son, Schroeder tapped the Tullgrens to create the historic eight-story tower.

While little has changed on the exterior of the hotel over the past 90 years, the interior has undergone several transformations. The original hotel had 265 guestrooms, which was later reduced to 138. In our current design, we have 121 guestrooms, suites and residential suites.

The building has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service. This is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Hotel Retlaw stands today as one of the most richly historic hotels in Wisconsin.