Schwartz Ballroom

Also known as: Chandelier Ballroom, Marty Zivko's Rock 'n' Roll Palace
150 Jefferson Ave., Hartford, Wisconsin

Octogonal ballroom from the big band era, built out in the country but surrounded by Hartford over the decades

Photos 

Main Entrance

The Schwartz Ballroom was a popular venue in the heyday of the big band era. Some of the greatest and best-known of the popular big bands played here. Thanks to radio broadcasts, originated here by WTMJ remote facilites and transmitted over the CBS Radio Network, the Schwartz Ballroom enjoyed a national reputation.

Now renamed, the octagonal-shaped ballroom has been lovingly restored and is available for rent.

(WTMJ radio is still in operation in Milwaukee.)

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2010

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Map 

Description 

The property started out as a meeting hall and park for the Eagles Club. In 1919, the Schwartz Brewing Company purchased the property and in 1928, they built the octogonal ballroom that became the trademark of the facility.

The ballroom has been a venue for weddings, big bands, network radio broadcasts, polka bands, rock 'n' roll bands and even a wrestling match. In World War II, the property was leased to the government and was used as a German prisoner of war camp.

In 1950, the property was purchased by Marty Zivko, a popular polka band musician from Milwaukee who also owned a music business. He called it Marty Zivko's Schwartz Ballroom and soon gave up performing to manage the hall. With the popularity of rock 'n' roll in the 1960s, the hall became known as Marty Zivko's Rock 'n' Roll palace, hosting a number of big time stars, just as it had back in the big band era.

Today, the beautifully restored ballroom is a popular hall for weddings. It's also a source of many warm memories for the wedding guests who fondly remember many nights spent dancing at Marty Zivko's.

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 20, 1998
Reference number
98000564
Architectural style
Modern Movement
Areas of significance
Entertainment/Recreation; Politics/Government; Engineering
Level of significance
Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Auditorium
Current function
Auditorium
Period of significance
1925-1949

Update Log 

  • June 12, 2013: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated the listing
  • July 13, 2010: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added to Octagon Mode category
  • July 13, 2010: New photos from J.R. Manning

Sources