Iron Horse Hotel / The Kubala Washatko Architects

© The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc.

Architect: The Kubala Washatko Architects
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: The Kubala Washatko Architects 

Designed by the Kubala Washatko Architects of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, the Iron Horse Hotel is an upscale boutique hotel that caters to motorcycle enthusiasts and travelers.  The 100,000sf project was completed in 2008 as a refurbishment to an existing factory — more images and architect description after the break.

The Iron Horse Hotel is an upscale boutique catering to both the motorcycle enthusiast and business traveler. Designed to accommodate 100 loft-style rooms on five floors, Iron Horse blends the authentic, rough charac­ter of the historic industrial building with the amenities found in a modern hotel.

Originally built in 1907, this and heavy structure is an outstanding example of early 20th cen­tury factory/warehouse design. In redeveloping the property into a boutique hotel, one of the primary goals was to retain the industrial character of the building and to express its robust, authentic use of materials. The existing heavy structure and interior Cream City brick walls were left exposed, and many original interior elements, such as rolling industrial elevator doors and machine components, have been retained as sculptural elements. Design work conformed to the Secretary of the Interior Standards and was approved by the National Park Service.

© The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc.

Guest rooms are equipped with deep drawers and sturdy hooks to store motorcyclists’ gear, and leather and metal finishes complement their aesthetic. Rooms also include custom desk/storage units for business travelers.  The project was awarded a 2009 Real Estate Award for the Best New Development in Retail/Hospitality in addition to being named the Boutique Hotel of the Year for the past two years by the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BBLA).

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Cite: "Iron Horse Hotel / The Kubala Washatko Architects" 10 Oct 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>