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A love of buildings is what drew The Iron Horse Hotel owner Tim Dixon to purchase the historic warehouse. A carpenter by trade, Dixon’s vision was to capture the distinct architecture and heavy timber construction of the original building, located along the river in Milwaukee’s historic tannery district. As a result, The Iron Horse Hotel is a perfect fusion of industrial-era form and modern-day function.
Much of the original building is still intact, including Hemlock and heart Pine posts and beams and exposed Cream City brick walls and fire doors, resulting in a rugged design and loft-style atmosphere.
To transform the interiors into a modern luxury hotel, dramatic finishes and sophisticated forms have been paired with authentic materials to create a strong yet inviting space – encouraging discovery and social gathering throughout the hotel. Vintage items from as far away as London and as close as the hotel's neighborhood antique shops can be found throughout the property, along with custom chandeliers, original artwork by Milwaukee artists and industrial decorative relics.
Meeting the needs of business travelers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike forced design creativity. Many of the concepts arose from focus groups of “road warriors” of both the briefcase and biker persuasions, such as rugged wood floors that are welcoming to both high heels and riding boots, and chic yet durable furniture, able to withstand heavy zippers and buckles yet cool and refined for business attire.
In the end, The Iron Horse Hotel pays homage to the architecture of the American Industrial era while offering the features and amenities relevant for today’s savvy business and leisure traveler.