Walter Schroeder

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Walter Schroeder was born in 1878, in Milwauee, to Christian and Amalia Schroeder, German immigrants. At the age of 14, he went to work in the office of the Milwaukee Register of Deeds, where he recorded real estate transactions, mortgages, deed transfers and legal instruments, educating him in the business of real estate.

In partnership with his father, Schroeder became one of the best insurance salesmen in the state. He entered the hotel business when his firm brokered funding for the largest hotel (at the time) in Wisconsin. Unhappy with the management of the hotel, he took the responsibility himself and thus entered the field of hospitality.

He built the Hotel Astor in Milwakee, the Hotel Loraine (named for his niece) in Madison, and built or aquired six other hotels in Green Bay, Duluth, Wausau, Benton Harbor, Michigan and the Hotel Calumet in Fond du Lac, just east of the Chicago & Northwestern Depot. His crowning achievement was the Schroder Hotel in Milwaukee, his ninth hotel and the crown jewel in his chain. The Schroeder was a hotel of great luxury and opulence, a reputation it still enjoys today as the Hilton.

Walter Schroeder was also a philanthropist his entire life, which continued after his death in 1967. The Walter Schroeder Foundation continues his work, including the Walter Schroeder Library on the campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

The Walter Schroeder Library is on the campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. If you look closely in the flower planter, you might see Ursula, the Vagabond Bear. She is one of several Vagabond Bears that can be checked out from the North Shore Library to travel to exotic locations.

For more about Walter Schroeder, please see his biography at the website of the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Astor on the Lake (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
Hotel Calumet (Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin)
Hotel Loraine (Dane County, Wisconsin)
Hotel Northland (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Elizabethan/Tudor Revival hotel, built with reinforced concrete and featuring a brick and stucco façade.
Hotel Retlaw (Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin)
Hotel Schroeder (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
The crown jewel of Walter Schroeder's midwest chain of hotels
Hotel Wisconsin (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
The largest and most luxurious hotel in Wisconsin when it opened, now an upscale apartment building