The historic AAA Four-Diamond Pfister Hotel, announced that Anna Lardinois, owner of Walking Milwaukee self-guided walking tours, as its 11th Pfister Narrator-in-Residence.
With a deep-seeded appreciation and passion for Milwaukee’s history, Lardinois will share her experiences at the hotel and interactions with guests via The Pfister’s award-winning blog (blog.thepfisterhotel.com) and ongoing literary events. New this year, Lardinois also plans to begin quarterly walking tours and podcasts about The Pfister Hotel.
“The Pfister Narrator program is a natural fit. I have long admired Milwaukee’s history and downtown’s gorgeous architecture. To have the opportunity to share stories from one of our city’s premier, iconic downtown hotels will be an invaluable experience,” said Lardinois. “I have spent years helping to bring the city to life through my work with Milwaukee walking tours. I cannot wait to do the same for The Pfister.”
A Pewaukee native, Lardinois began her literary career as a high school English teacher for the School District of Waukesha. She taught at Waukesha West High School and IQ Academies of Wisconsin for 12 years. In 2012, while still teaching, she created Milwaukee’s popular Gothic Milwaukee walking tour, which showcases premier historic sites around the city.
Three years later, her love of Milwaukee’s history and architecture led Lardinois to found Walking Milwaukee, a collection of self-guided walking tours of the city. She quickly made walking tours her full-time career and has since created a GPS-based, self-guided walking tour of Wisconsin Avenue to complement her other tours. Since starting Gothic Milwaukee and Walking Milwaukee, Lardinois has helped introduce Milwaukee’s history to thousands of visiting tourists. Her Gothic Milwaukee tour was named “Best Milwaukee Tour” by the Shepherd Express in its 2017 “Best of Milwaukee” list.
“Undoubtedly, Anna will be bringing one of the most unique approaches to The Pfister Narrator program, and we are thrilled to have her. Her depth of knowledge and clear passion for the history of Milwaukee matches incredibly well with The Pfister Hotel and its 125 years of serving locals and visitors alike,” said Tim Smith, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “Whether it is through her new walking tours and podcast, regular blog posts, or any other number of literary events at the hotel, Anna will truly bring The Pfister and its many stories to life.”
The Pfister Narrator is selected each year from a pool of applicants by a review panel consisting of local writers, editors and hotel representatives. Lardinois was named the 11th Pfister Narrator based on her extensive storytelling career and her existing popularity in Milwaukee’s hospitality and tourism industries. Lardinois succeeds Nicole Mattke, who served as the 10th Pfister Narrator.
The Pfister Hotel has been the premier hotel in downtown Milwaukee for over 120 years. Originally built in 1893 by businessman Guido Pfister, it was the most lavish hotel of its time. The hotel’s storied elegance had faded following World War II until 1962, when Ben Marcus, founder of The Marcus Corporation, purchased this grand hotel out of bankruptcy.
The Marcus family renovated and restored the hotel to its original glory, adding convention facilities, a parking garage and 23-story guest tower. The Pfister Hotel remains home to the largest collection of Victorian art of any hotel in the world, and offers an interactive augmented reality tour of pieces in this impressive collection.
Marcus Hotels & Resorts