Wausau, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Hotel Wausau (Wausau, Marathon County) on the State Register of Historic Places in February of 2021.
The Hotel Wausau, a Classical Revival style hotel, was built in 1925 in the heart of downtown Wausau. Designed by Chicago architects Holabird & Roche, it had 257 guest rooms, eight ground-floor retail stores, and several guest amenities including a spacious reception lobby and lounge, a hotel coffee shop, a barber shop, a large dining room, and a ballroom. It was the city’s premier hotel as well as a popular and stylish venue for local meetings and special events. Its eight leasable commercial units along its primary facades further elevated the role of the hotel in the city’s commercial and civic environment. The Hotel Wausau was one of seven built by prominent Wisconsin hotelier Walter Schroeder, whose successful chain promoted the concept of fireproof luxury hotels with accommodations at various price points to meet the needs of travelers across the socioeconomic spectrum.
The Hotel Wausau is a notable example of the Classical Revival architectural style, which was popularized by the “White City” at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. The Classical Revival style embraced the symmetry and ornament of ancient Greece and Rome while its overtones of wealth, power, and stability made it a popular choice for institutional and commercial buildings. At the Hotel Wausau, the finely designed Classical Revival exterior projected the high quality of the accommodations and amenities found within.
The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.