Learn about this historic double mansion that was converted into a small hotel in 2020!
Saved from the wrecking ball in 1985 by the City of the Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission, this 1898 English Renaissance Revival Style gem by noted architects Ferry and Clas sat underutilized, then abandoned altogether when brought to the attention of the new owners. Encouraged by what they saw working on the building for previous clients, the three combined their complementary skill sets to create the Dubbel Dutch. Juli Kaufmann of Fix Development, Patrick R. Jones of Ramsey Jones Architects and Andy Braatz of Braatz Building meshed their expertise in development, architecture and construction to test the viability of turning the now vacant double mansion into a small historic hotel. Having worked together on several previous projects, the initially daunting undertaking eventually coalesced into the hotel we now see. Through a painstaking attention to detail, driven by a belief in the sustainable redevelopment of an existing structure, the Owners pursued listing with the State of Wisconsin Historic Registry and the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. Despite years of use as a single room occupancy, small business offices, and eventual neglect, the building maintained good bones and sufficient architectural detail to merit the listing pursuit, and the faithful execution of rehabilitation. Cued by the prominence of Flemish-style shaped gables crowned with finials on this double house, an architectural detail prevalent in Milwaukee design of the era, combined with the Flemish-Dutch spelling of the word ‘double’, the owners pay homage to the home’s history and architecture by naming their new hotel, Dubbel Dutch.
Timeline of events
1897: Charles A Koeffler Sr died (he had come from Germany in 1849 and did liquor distribution and had a distillery) and sons (Hugo & Charles Jr) razed his house
1898: House built – 2 permits, 2 address
- 817 side (south) owned by Charles Sr.’s 2 sons: Hugo (did real estate) and Charles A Koffler Jr (lawyer)
- 819 side (north) owned by Charles Sr.’s daughter (Hermine) and her husband (Francis) + their 2 sons lived there
1904/1907: Francis & Hermine built house next door (829) for their son Edgar – now a law office
1917: Hugo sued Charles Jr. and Hermine over father’s estate & won
1920: Moses Annenberg lived in one of the sides of the house with his wife and 8 children – he was in publishing at the Evening Wisconsin paper
Then was a rooming house and owned by Carl (Charles Jr.’s son) Koffler till 1960s when Taxman Investments bought it (they had made plans to turn it into an inn but it never happened)
1985: Tear down proposed and the city landmarked the house to save it