The Story Of The Hotel Schroeder Photograph

Milwaukee, WI -Kodachrome

Hotel Shroeder, Milwaukee, WI -Kodachrome

   Quite some time ago the kid got me (us) some old Kodachrome slides from a garage sale, as I already posted some of them in the post Time Travel With Kodachrome. When I was going through those old photograph, I like to figure out when and where the photograph was taken. The particular photo is of Hotel Schroeder in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I am guessing in the 1950s. The hotel was built in 1927 by hotel magnate Walter Schroeder. Nowadays it’s known as the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. I love this photograph quite a lot, especially because of the street car.

Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Hilton Milwaukee City Center

  So a few weeks ago I was in Milwaukee going pass this ‘Hilton Milwaukee City Center’, I kept staring at it because we were stuck in traffic, and all of a sudden there’s a light bulb lighted up on top my head. “That’s the Hotel Schroeder in the Street car photo! Wouldn’t it be cool If I could stand at the exact spot and took a photo today, 60 years later!” I decided to try doing that the next day right. However, I got turned around trying to use this old photo as a guide. Apparently things changed quite a lot in 60 years. The original spot where the photographer once stood is currently occupied by something I can’t move away, oh right a building, and the awesome street cars are long gone. After circling around for sometime, I decided on a spot that should see the resemblance from the original photo (pay attention to the building on the left).


A wider angle from my phone to show you the surrounding. Took me a while to find a spot without a building in the front and to clearly see the two buildings.

Kenosha Street Car, WI

If it counts for anything I did found a street car in Kenosha, Wisconsin, about an hour away.

16 thoughts on “The Story Of The Hotel Schroeder Photograph

  1. I always love a then and now shot, but to me, the Hilton doesn’t much resemble the Schroeder.

    It does count for something that you found a vintage streetcar still in use.

    • Five pounds a slide is pretty steep. I only buy them if they are affordable. Never more than couple dollars for a bunch . Hey I am glad you find the post interesting , cheers .

  2. Dehk- That is not a streetcar, it is called an interurban, a city to city fast electric railway. That car is one of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee line. There were three interurbans that served Chicago, the North Shore, The Chicago, South Shore and South Bend, and the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin. The North Shore went bankrupt in 1963 and ended service. The South Shore is the only one still in existence, now part of the Metra I believe. So your Kodachrome was taken in 1963 or before. If the car # is visible, you might get a closer date if it was scrapped earlier.


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