Hotel Online  Special Report

 National Trust Historic Hotels of America Adds 17 Hotels; 
Wide Range of Architectural Styles, 
All Deeply Rooted in History


New hotels include one in the "Guinness World Records," one with perfectly round guest rooms and another was the inspiration for the book "The Shining"

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2004 - National Trust Historic Hotels of America announces the addition of 17 new members. This selection brings the program's total membership to 213 hotels, representing 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

"The variety of American experiences is showcased with these 17 new members, said Thierry Roch, executive director of National Trust Historic Hotels of America. "These hotels represent eras ranging from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the building boom of the 1920s and the recent past with a mid-20th century hotel. This collection of new hotels provides travelers with even more historically and culturally rich locations to enhance their journey."

The new members offer travelers a diversity of locales from Ashland, Ore., to Washington, D.C., and Mackinac Island, Mich., to San Antonio. They feature hotels deeply rooted in history for nearly 300 years as well as pop culture. And, they showcase a wide range of architectural styles. Here's a sampling of interesting facts highlighting the history and architecture of the hotels as well as personalities who have walked through the doors.

National Trust Historic Hotels of America
New Members 2005

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colo.-In the summer of 1903, inventor F.O. Stanley was living in Colorado, hoping to alleviate his tuberculosis, when he discovered the tiny rustic town of Estes Park. Stanley was instantly smitten and, nine years later, he opened the Stanley Hotel. Stanley was the co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile and he ingeniously reworked a truck into The Stanley Mountain Wagon, the first "motorbus," which picked up guests at various area rail stations and transported them to the hotel. By 1940, Stanley had created the physical and recreational infrastructure of the town and was responsible for the beginnings of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Many illustrious names have passed through this grand mountain resort and novelist Stephen King is said to have found his inspiration for The Shining here. Now nearly a century old, the white Georgian Colonial Revival hotel still poses a striking contrast to the rugged mountain terrain and remains one of the Rocky Mountains best loved and most recognizable hotels. The hotel is located 72 miles north of Denver. (138 guest rooms; rates from $129)

The Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.-Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the stately elegance of the Shoreham has made it a favorite destination of presidents, dignitaries and world travelers since the 1930s. Famed singer Rudy Vallee flew in for the hotel's grand opening in a tri-motored Amelia Earhart plane. With its location adjacent to Rock Creek Park, the hotel quickly began to enjoy great popularity with prominent Washingtonians. In 1933, the building was outfitted with a special ramp and elevator to accommodate the needs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During World War II, the hotel found a creative way to keep serving alcohol despite stringent rationing by purchasing the entire stock of a Scottish distillery. Several prominent politicians called the hotel home during their tenure in Washington, including Senator Stuart Symington from Missouri, who often held all-night poker games in his room with President Harry Truman. The legendary Blue Room was the swankiest nightclub of its time and was the site of Liza Minnelli's first public performance and was a favorite venue of John and Jackie Kennedy. The Omni Shoreham has hosted an inaugural ball for every president from FDR to Bill Clinton. (836 guest rooms and suites; rates from $179)

Casa Marina, Jacksonville Beach, Fla.-When Casa Marina opened its doors in 1925 the "Roaring Twenties" were in full swing. Jacksonville Beach was a favorite playground for the rich and famous, and glamorous figures such as Jean Harlow, Charlie Chaplin and Al Capone frequented the hotel. The Spanish Mediterranean-style inn was the first modern fire-proof building at the beach and boasted an automatic sprinkler system. As the playful years of Jacksonville Beach turned into the War Years, a succession of owners transformed the hotel into an assortment of businesses, from a 37-room apartment building and tea room to a cultural center for environmentalists. By 1991, a veranda and third story penthouse had been added to the original structure, as the Casa Marina awaited the 21st century. Today, Casa Marina is the only remaining grand hotel from the golden era of the 1920s. The hotel is located on the beach (24 guest rooms and suites; from $139)

Fontainebleau Hilton Resort, Miami Beach, Fla.-From the day it opened its doors in 1954, the Fontainebleau has been known as "the crown jewel of Miami Beach." Enjoying a reputation as the area's top resort hotel, it was a favorite stopover for notables such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis, Jr., Lucille Ball and every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. The resort's famed crescent shape is set amid 20 lush tropical acres and accented by a magnificent grotto-style pool with cascading waterfalls. Its classic guest rooms afford spectacular water views and some are equipped with private terraces. In the 1970s, the hotel became known for its distinctive tromp l'oeil mural that graces its exterior. Although the mural is gone, an ambitious $60 million facelift and expansion has added a brilliant new luster to this Miami Beach gem. (920 guest rooms and suites; rates from $159)

The Roberts Hotel, Muncie, Ind.-In 1921, a group of local entrepreneurs commissioned architect Charles W. Nicol to design a grand hotel that would be the showplace of Muncie. Nicol succeeded and the Roberts Hotel, named for one of its developers, George Roberts, is recognized as a finely crafted example of the Georgian Revival style. For most of its history it has been Muncie's most elegant and gracious hotel, hosting five U.S. presidents as well as dignitaries and legends of stage and screen. The building's classic red brick exterior is ornamented and enhanced with the details crafted from indigenous Indiana limestone. Inside, there is a wealth of 
The Roberts Hotel
420 S. High Street
Muncie, IN 47305
ornate plasterwork, including Corinthian pilasters and a festooned frieze. The hotel's lobby, flooded with natural light from nine skylights, offers a bright, airy welcome and a pleasant dose of beauty and charm. The "crown jewel of Muncie," as the Roberts Hotel is known, is truly the center of its community; a three-year campaign to completely renovate the historic structure was completed with widespread citizen support. The hotel is located downtown across from the Horizon Convention Center and minutes from Ball State University. (132 guest rooms and suites; rates from $99)

Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore-At the time of its construction in 1928, the 23-story Lord Baltimore Hotel was the largest hotel in the state of Maryland. Named for George Calvert, Lord Baltimore and founder of the Maryland colony, it was the last high-rise building to be erected with classical ornamentation in downtown Baltimore. Its splendid lobby offers a gracious welcome with stately columns and traditional appointments. Individual guest rooms have been renovated to provide a level of comfort unknown in the 1920s, including the latest in high-tech amenities. The hotel's downtown location is within walking distance of many of the city's prime attractions, including the bustling Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. (439 guest rooms; rates from $129)

Concord's Colonial Inn, Concord, Mass.-The town of Concord has played a monumental role in American history, first as the birthplace of American independence, then, a century later, as an important center of philosophy and literature. Located on the town's common, the Colonial Inn has stood witness to history for almost three centuries. The inn's main building was constructed as a residence by the Minot family, circa 1716. In 1775, one of the inn's original buildings was used as a storehouse for arms and provisions for the town's militia. During the first half of the 19th century, parts of the inn were used as a variety store, and became the town's center of commerce. The Thoreau family took up residence in the home and Henry David Thoreau lived there while attending Harvard. In the mid-19th century, the home served as a boarding house, then as a small hotel named the Thoreau House. By 1900, the inn was operating as the Concord Inn and has welcomed guests including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Shirley Temple and Bruce Springsteen. Concord is 20 miles from Boston. (56 guest rooms and suites; rates from $125)

Crowne Pointe Historic Inn & Spa, Provincetown, Mass.-At the very tip of Cape Cod's distinctive hook sits the eclectic village of Provincetown. The original landing site of the Mayflower in 1620, Provincetown was a hub of maritime activity two centuries later and today is home to a diverse mix of artists, fishermen and tourists. The stately Crowne Pointe Historic Inn was originally built as a residence by a prosperous Yankee sea captain at the turn of the 19th century. The two carriage houses that sit behind the inn's main building were once housing for fishermen seeking board between voyages. Over the ensuing decades, Provincetown evolved from a bustling seaport to a popular resort area. The inn itself underwent many alterations, until being purchased and painstakingly restored in 1999. The inn features authentic Victorian wallpaper and coffered tin and wood moldings, as well as antique belt-driven fans on the front porch. (40 guest rooms and suite; rates from $100)

The Crowne Pointe Historic Inn & Spa
82 Bradford Street
Provincetown, MA 02657
Island House Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich.-In the century-and-a-half since Charles O'Malley built his beach resort, more than one million visitors have experienced its pleasures. The Island House was purchased by Captain Henry Van Allen, a Great Lakes skipper who moved the property approximately 300 feet inland for a better view. location. By the 1880s, Mackinac Island was known as America's most popular summer destination and The Island House was hailed as the island's best family hotel. The Allen family owned, operated and expanded the hotel until it was vacated in 1938. Aside from a brief period when it served as home to the Moral Rearmament Movement, the hotel stood vacant until 1949 when investors known as The Island House Incorporated hoped to restore the property's former glory. Despite repeated attempts, the hotel did not thrive until it was acquired by a prominent local family more than 20 years later. After a painstaking restoration, The Island House reopened in 1972 and has since undergone major improvements and enhancements. Mackinac Island is located between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. (97 guest rooms and suites; rates from $145)
Crowne Plaza Quaker Square, Akron, Ohio-The world-famous Quaker Oats company began modestly with German immigrant Ferdinand Schumacher, who had been successful grinding oats and selling the meal as a breakfast food in his native country. The idea caught on and Schumacher was soon grinding twenty barrels of oats a day. During the Civil War, Schumacher supplied his meal to the U.S. Army and erected the Empire Barley Mill on what is now the site of Quaker Square. Today, the Crowne Plaza Quaker Square is an exciting blend of industry, architecture, hospitality and history. The
Crowne Plaza Quaker Square
135 South Broadway Street
Akron Oh 44308
imposing structure is actually a conglomeration of 36 mills and grain silos, which were the beginnings of the Quaker Oats Company. Each of the silos is 120 feet tall and its interior guest rooms are perfectly round in keeping with the circular form of the structures. Some of the original grain milling equipment remains in place and harkens back to the hotel's industrial origins. The hotel is located in downtown Akron in the historic Quaker Station Complex. (190 perfectly round guest rooms and suites; rates from $115)

Ashland Springs Hotel, Ashland, Ore.-The Ashland Springs Hotel opened to the public as the Lithia Springs Hotel in 1925 as a natural stopping place for visitors traveling between California and the Northwest. Guests could enjoy the scenic views and take the famous Lithia Springs water, reputed to be the purest and most healthful in America. With a mix of Gothic and Beaux Arts elements, the nine-story hotel was the tallest building between Portland and San Francisco. In 1960, the hotel was renamed the Mark Antony, in recognition of the growing popularity of the nearby Oregon Shakespeare Festival. By 1997, the hotel had been abandoned and was in desperate need of a renovation, which began in 1998 and uncovered and enhanced many of the building's original features while adding a conservatory and English garden. The signature stained glass crest over the front entrance was returned to prominence and it once again welcomes guests to a hotel whose reputation is "equal in luxury to any hotel in Oregon." The hotel is located in downtown Ashland. (70 guest rooms; rates from $89)

Vanderbilt Hall, Newport, R.I.-At a ground-breaking ceremony for the Newport Men's Social Club in 1908, Alfred Gwynn Vanderbilt dedicated the building to his father, "The Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, owner of the magnificent Breakers Mansion and one of America's wealthiest men. Alfred perished several years later aboard the ill-fated Lusitania. The club enjoyed great popularity over the years and was eventually purchased by socialite Doris Duke's Restoration Fund. For the next several years it was used primarily as administrative and office space but began to fall into decline. Now beautifully resorted, Vanderbilt Hall's ambiance is that of a grand yet comfortable historic house. Nautical touches provide tasteful reminders of Newport's rich sea-faring history. Vanderbilt Hall is located on Historic Hill in Newport, one block from the ocean. (51 guest rooms; rates from $220)

Providence Biltmore, Providence, R.I.-The Providence Biltmore's creative V-shaped layout was designed by architects Warren and Wetmore, whose other commissions included New York's Grand Central Station. Built in 1922, the hotel was filled with all the modern conveniences and self-contained services, from a drugstore and printing shop to a carpentry and upholstery shop and even private chicken coops. The Biltmore's Garden Room was the city's foremost night spot for years, as the sounds of big band leaders Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey filled the air. The dance floor was once turned into an aquarium, complete with live fish, for a performance by Esther Williams. An appearance by Olympic star Sonja Henie transformed it yet again-this time into an ice-skating rink. The hotel's famed Bacchante Girls offered the epitome of style and service in the exclusive, dimly-lit Bacchante Room. Guests simply pressed a button when they were ready for service and a "girl" materialized. During the hurricane of 1954, the hotel was flooded, with water pouring into the elevator shafts and couches floating into the lobby. Today, a plaque high on a column commemorates the high water mark. The hotel is located in Down City Providence adjacent to the Rhode Island Convention Center. (291 guest rooms and suites; rates from $169)

The Beaufort Inn, Beaufort, S.C.- A classic example of Victorian cottage architecture, the Beaufort Inn was built in 1897 as a second home by a prominent attorney from Hampton, South Carolina. The property was later sold and became one of the area's first boarding houses, catering to military and government officials, business travelers and vacationers who sought the soothing sea breezes of the Carolina Low Country. In the 1930s the property operated as the Beaufort Inn but by the 1960s, it had become run-down and remained in disrepair despite a number of attempts at renovation. In 1993, new owners began painstaking renovations with the help of the area's most skilled craftsmen and artisans. Attention to detail is evident throughout the property, especially the impressive, circular four-story staircase which has garnered numerous architectural awards. Subsequent owners have expanded the inn to 25 rooms and suites including renovated historic cottages. Beaufort is located halfway between the historic cities of Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. (25 guest rooms, suites and cottages; rates from $160)

Sheraton Read House Hotel, Chattanooga, Tenn. - In 1847, Thomas Crutchfield and his family opened the Crutchfield House, directly across the street from Chattanooga's new rail terminal linking Chattanooga to Atlanta and other commercial centers in the South. In 1861, the country was deeply divided with war eminent. After resigning from the United States Senate, Jefferson Davis stopped by the hotel and spoke on the burning issue of secession. Tempers ran high and William Crutchfield, one of Thomas' sons, denounced Davis as a traitor. Bloodshed was narrowly averted when Crutchfield's brother and the hotel's manager, intervened. Crutchfield House was the first building occupied by Union forces when they swept into the city and was subsequently converted into a military hospital. The hotel survived the war, only to burn to the ground in 1867. Four years later, local doctor John T. Read constructed a new hotel on the same site. It operated until 1926, when the current structure was built by the Read family. The hotel was completely restored in 2004. The Silver Ballroom features hand-carved moldings, Waterford crystal and sterling silver chandeliers. The Read House is located in the Center City district of Chattanooga. (238 guest rooms and suites; rates from $99)

The Fairmount San Antonio-The three-story Victorian structure was built in 1906, six blocks from its present-day location. In 1985, the Fairmount was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records when the 3.2 million pound hotel was moved intact to its current location, three blocks from the Alamo and San Antonio's popular Riverwalk. When the present site was excavated, a host of fascinating artifacts were unearthed, resulting in the hotel to be named a Texas Archaeological Landmark. A glass display case in the hotel's lobby contains an array of 19th-century military objects from the Battle of the Alamo and an unusual assortment of British china. The Fairmount has wrought-iron verandas and a red-brick façade as well as a courtyard with lush foliage and garden seating. Inside, the hotel's guest rooms feature canopy beds, overstuffed chairs and elegant marble baths. (37 guest rooms and suites; rates from $179)

The Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Wash. -The Davenport hospitality empire grew from the ashes of the great Spokane fire of 1889. Louis Davenport had been working as a clerk in San Francisco when, at age 20, he came to Spokane Falls, Washington Territory, to work in his uncle's Pride of Spokane restaurant. The day after the big fire, young Davenport salvaged what he could of the restaurant from the ashes, erected a tent and started Davenport's Waffle Foundry. Davenport's restaurant became one of the finest in the country by the end of the 1890s. In the early 20th century, Spokane became the heart of a vast inland empire with tremendous fortunes being made in mining, lumber and agriculture. Business leaders set out to build "one of America's exceptional hotels." The Davenport Hotel opened in September 1914 as the first hotel with air conditioning, a central vacuum system and folding ballroom walls. Louis Davenport presided strictly over the city block-sized enterprise, even ordering all money be washed and pressed before being given in change, all garbage be frozen so as to minimize its odor and for the lobby fireplace to burn constantly as an abiding symbol of hospitality. In 2002, The Davenport Hotel completed a $40 million renovation-its fireplace again burning. (283 guest rooms and suites; rates from $199)

The Davenport Hotel
10 South Post Street
Spokane, WA 99201
A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America is a marketing association. To qualify for membership, hotels must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or recognized locally as having historic significance. Established in 1989 with 32 original hotel members, Historic Hotels of America recognizes and promotes these hotels for their historic integrity, architectural quality and outstanding preservation efforts made by owners and managers.

Representing nearly 38,000 rooms, Historic Hotels of America ranks as the 14th largest hotel consortia in the world, according to Hotels magazine (July 2004).

A directory of member hotels can be purchased by sending a $4.00 check or money order to National Trust Historic Hotels of America, P.O. Box 320, Washington, D.C. 20055-0320. Gift certificates are available through Rooms at any of the member hotels can be reserved by visiting, calling 800-678-8946, or a travel planner (GDS code 'HE'). Reservations made through Historic Hotels of America support the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a non-profit organization of 200,000 members that provides leadership, education and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize our communities. For more information, visit the National Trust's Web site at

Mary Billingsley
Director of Public Relations
Phone: 202-588-6061
Fax: 202-588-6292
Web site:
Also See: F.O. Stanley's Vision of Community Returns; Stanley Hotel Reopens the Doors of 93 Year-Old Concert Hall / March 2002
The Fontainebleau, One of the Great Success Stories of Miami's Hotel Industry, Adding New Towers Financed as Condominium Projects / January 2004
Falor Companies Completes $12 million Renovation the 243 room Read House; The 78 Year Old Chattanooga Hotel Will be Branded Sheraton / October 2004
Historic Hotel Roberts in Muncie, Indiana Acquired by Milestone Hotel Investments and Regency Hotel Management / Aug 2000
The Landmark Lord Baltimore Hotel in Downtown Baltimore Acquired byRadisson-Olympus Capital Partners / May 2001
Spokane's Landmark, The Davenport, Back in Business after a 17-year Closure and $30 million Restoration / Oct 2002
Quaker Square Properties, Owner of Crowne Plaza in Akron Takes Back Management of Hotel from Boykin Management Company / June 2003
Heavy Footsteps, Doors Slamming, Cool Drafts; Unexplained Occurrences at Historic Hotels of America Member Hotels / September 2004
With Hotels Dating Back to the 17th-century, National Trust Historic Hotels of America Often Played Host to Presidents and Sometimes the President Leaves Behind an Interesting Tale / February 2004

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