True to its Art Deco roots, the Hotel Metro was constructed in 1937, first used to house commercial offices and shops. Known as the Mariner Building, the building employed cast-in-place concrete with a limestone exterior and would be the first commercial building in Milwaukee to have central air conditioning. Its position in the center of Milwaukee’s entertainment, cultural and financial districts made it a natural locale for a landmark hotel—and in 1998 the interior of the building was completely reconstructed to Department of Interior standards.
The decor of the hotel, a blend of Art Deco and the 1930s European Art Moderne, flows with the streamlined design of the Art Deco building. The tranquil ambiance created in the hotel was achieved through the use of smooth curves and ovals, natural fibers, warm colors, and soft recessed lighting.