In 1929, the hotel leased its bottom floor to retailers for luxury shop fronts. Early tenants included Rolls Royce, the Wisconsin Telephone Company, and an Oriental rug dealer. In 1935 the building suffered a devastating fire in the basement, killing two people- a deaf and blind resident and his nurse. With the fire causing financial bankruptcy of its owner, on top of the onset of World War II soon after, it was years before structural improvements could be made to the hotel. After the War ended in 1945, the building was restored to its former glory. The hotel was again renovated in 1981, but close attention was made to preserving the original architecture and design. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Today the Astor Hotel is a mix of permanent residential apartments and hotel rooms for luxury travelers owned by Watercrest Real Estate company, still an architectural focal point of the Yankee Hill/East Town neighborhood of Milwaukee.