Converting the 125-year-old Loyalty Building, a landmark office structure in Milwaukee, into a 127-room hotel required its design-build team to reconcile stringent standards for historic rehabilitation with code requirements for the facility's new use. The hotel's entrance, for instance, meets requirements for ingress and egress while providing an experience that highlights the building's history.

Other initiatives put old elements to new uses. After discovering original wood wainscoting behind a demolished office wall, the team incorporated portions of it into a bar front. Other features resumed their original roles in portions of the hotel lobby.

Although the owner commissioned a hazardous material survey prior to proceeding, demolition crews uncovered much more asbestos than originally anticipated. To maintain schedule, the demolition contractor relocated operations to safer areas while the abatement contractor adjusted crew size to expedite the work. Budget constraints precluded complete abatement. As a result, abatement in flooring occurred only at locations where penetrations were required. Elsewhere, flooring was encapsulated below a layer of gypsum underlayment. However, crews were required to remove asbestos caulk and several layers of lead paint from the building's stone exterior.

Hilton Garden Inn, Milwaukee

Key Players

Owner First Hospitality Group Inc., Rosemont, Ill.

GC Stevens Construction Corp., Madison, Wis.

Designer Kahler Slater Inc., Milwaukee

Structural Engineer Pierce Engineers Inc., Milwaukee

MEP Engineer Engineering Concepts Inc., Waukesha, Wis.; Dolan & Dustin Inc., Wauwatosa, Wis.

Fire Protection Rolf Jensen & Associates, Chicago