Hotel Online  Special Report

 Nine Distinctive Hotels Added as Members of Historic Hotels of America; 
All Have Faithfully Maintained their Historic Integrity and Architecture
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2006 – National Trust Historic Hotels of America announces the addition of nine new members. This selection brings the program’s total membership to 209 hotels, representing 40 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Travelers today seek authentic experiences and value,” said Thierry Roch, executive director of National Trust Historic Hotels of America. “The nine new members showcase some of America’s classic properties and destinations and offer travelers a variety of experiences from our first member in the U.S. Virgin Islands to a mid-century modern hotel reminiscent of The Jetsons television show and a Chicago grande dame to a sophisticated Main Street hotel on Maryland’s eastern shore. We are delighted to add these nine distinctive hotels as members of Historic Hotels of America.”

National Trust Historic Hotels of America
2007 New Members

Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Ariz. —The rebirth of the Hotel Valley Ho proves everything old is new again. Built in 1956, the Valley Ho is one of the country’s best examples of mid-century architecture, incorporating Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design with modern amenities. An abundance of glass walls, balconies, patios and an inviting courtyard pool made Scottsdale’s first year-round resort immensely popular with Hollywood’s hottest stars. By the 1970s the hotel’s once-hip vibe had slowly diminished. A recently completed $80 million reconstruction has restored this modern gem, retaining its distinctive design while incorporating the latest in amenities. (194 rooms and suites; rates from $139)

Hotel Whitcomb, San Francisco—During the post-earthquake reconstruction of the early 1900s, city architects Wright, Rushforth and Cahill drew up plans for an elegant new hotel. Its proposed site, opposite the Civic Center, drew the attention of city officials who were in need of a temporary City Hall while the original was being rebuilt. The building served as the government center from 1912 until 1915 and reopened as the Hotel Whitcomb a year later. The city jail cells are still intact in the hotel’s basement and administrative offices on the mezzanine were once the mayor’s office. Its exquisite interior is distinguished by rare Janesero wood paneling, marble columns, inlaid ceilings and original Austrian crystal chandeliers. Hotel Whitcomb is located on Market Street just steps from City Hall, the Moscone Center and Union Square. (459 rooms and suites; rates from $99)

The Hamilton Crowne Plaza, Washington, D.C.—The fourteen-story Hamilton Hotel was designed in 1921 by architect Jules Henri de Sibour, who created a number of notable Washington buildings. It enjoyed great popularity throughout the 1930s and 1940s, hosting one of FDR’s inaugural balls and singing cowboy Gene Autry. Hallmarks of the Beaux Arts structure include an entrance with an arched window and vaulted ceiling, and refined moldings and trim work. The hotel was eventually sold to the Salvation Army and was used as part of the Evangeline Home for Girls and later as commercial, office and retail space. Once again revitalized, it stands today as one of the city’s four remaining de Sibour buildings. (318 rooms and suites; rates from $129)

Palmer House Hilton, Chicago —Located in Chicago’s famed Loop, the current Palmer House Hilton is the third version of the hotel. The original structure, built by Potter Palmer as a wedding present for his bride, was thirteen days old when it burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Palmer immediately rebuilt the property across the street, sparing no expense and reportedly tiling the floor of the hotel’s barber shop with silver dollars. By 1925, the thriving metropolis was ready for an expanded luxury hotel. The modern Palmer House was built over a three-year period in successive stages so not a single day of operation was lost. At the time it opened, it was billed as the largest hotel in the world. (1,639 rooms and suites; from $159)

Hotel Pere Marquette, Peoria, Ill. —From the day it opened in January 1927, boasting a price tag of $2.5 million, the Hotel Pere Marquette was lauded as the finest hotel in central Illinois. The classic red brick Italianate structure was named for Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit priest who was reputed to be the first European to reach the Mississippi River. Artist George Harding depicted Marquette’s arrival in a mural that hangs above the lobby elevators. The elegant Cotillon Room, which can accommodate up to 150 couples for dancing, is graced with a second mural illustrating LaSalle’s departure from France. Located in Peoria’s business and entertainment district, Hotel Pere Marquette has been totally refurbished and recently renovated. (288 rooms including 31 suites; rates from $109)

Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, Baton Rouge, La. —According to legend, Baton Rouge takes its name from a blood-stained stick (“red stick” in French) that once delineated the territories of neighboring Native American tribes. Over the succeeding centuries, this capital city’s history has lived up to its colorful beginnings. With a massive renovation, the landmark Heidelberg Hotel has been newly transformed into the Hilton Capitol Center, an elegant, downtown destination. Once home to legendary politician Huey Long, the hotel was the site of many clandestine dealings and a secret underground tunnel that led to Long’s mistress across the street. Today, guests can enjoy private dining in the infamous tunnel. The hotel is located in downtown Baton Rouge, adjacent to the Shaw Performing Arts Center and River Center Convention Center. (290 newly rooms; rates from $199)

The Historic Tidewater Inn, Easton, Md. —Although the current red-brick Tidewater Inn opened in 1949, the site itself has been home to an inn for almost 200 years. In 1711, Easton was chosen as the site of Talbot County’s first courthouse and established the town as a center of trade and government. Early records reflected the presence of several inns that catered to those doing business at the courthouse. Over the next century, Easton became a popular destination for travelers and in 1891, a large frame hotel was erected on the site of the present Tidewater Inn. Known as the Avon Hotel, it was destroyed by fire in 1944. Today, the community of Easton ranks as one of the best small towns in America, welcoming guests with tree-lined streets, beautifully preserved Colonial and Victorian architecture. The inn is located an hour and a half east of Washington, D.C. (100 rooms; rates from $129)

Union Station, a Wyndham Historic Hotel, Nashville —Since 1900, this massive Romanesque structure has been a distinctive feature of Nashville’s cityscape. The station symbolized the excitement of America on the brink of a new century, with a soaring barrel-vaulted ceiling, Tiffany-style stained glass, two alligator ponds and a bronze likeness of Mercury atop the clock tower. During World War II, tens of thousands of U.S. troops passed through and a USO canteen provided celebrity entertainment. As rail travel declined in the U.S., the station became a ghost of its former self, eventually closing in the 1970s. A decade later, a massive renovation transformed the depot into an eclectic hotel. An extensive $8 million dollar renovation completed in early 2007 encompasses all public and meeting space, world-class restaurant and guest rooms, returning this landmark property to its original elegance and grandeur. Union Station is adjacent to the Frist Center for Visual Arts and within walking distance to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the entertainment district and the Convention Center. (125 guest rooms and suites; rates $139)

The Buccaneer, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands —The Buccanneer is the Virgin Island’s longest running resort, a family-owned operation that dates to the 17th century. In 1653, Charles Martel, a Knight of Malta, erected the first building on the island, well out of sight of coastal marauders. Known as the French Greathouse, it later served as a sugar house on the plantation of Danish Governor von Prock. The property was sold to Michael Shoy, from whom the area takes its name, who began farming cotton. Later, the estate functioned as a cattle farm until the Armstrong family converted it into a full-service inn in 1922. In recognition of the resort’s swashbuckling beginnings, each guest room was named for a 17th century coin, including the Lucky Farthings and Pieces of Eight. The Buccaneer is located on the eastern end of the island of St. Croix, minutes from downtown Christiansted offering a spacious private beach with stunning views. (138 rooms and villas; rates from $250)

Historic Hotels of America is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Historic Hotels has identified 209 hotels that have faithfully maintained their historic integrity, architecture and ambiance. To be selected for this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or recognized as having historic significance. A directory of member hotels can be purchased for $4.00 by sending a check to National Trust/HHA, P.O. Box 320, Washington, D.C. 20055-0320. Rooms at any of the member hotels can be reserved by calling 800-678-8946 or at Historic Hotels of America is aligned with Historic Hotels of Europe, a federation of 16 European hotel associations in 16 countries. Reservations made through Historic Hotels of America support the National Trust, 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.


Mary Billingsley 
Historic Hotels of America 

Also See: Turnberry Associates Acquires Union Station - A Wyndham Historic Hotel, Nashville; Plans Multi-million dollar Restoration / August 2005
Innco Hospitality Inc. Completing $6 million Renovation of the Hotel Pere Marquette in Peoria / June 2001

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.Online Search

Home | Welcome! | Hospitality News | Classifieds | Catalogs & Pricing | Viewpoint Forum | Ideas/Trends
Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.