The Ultimate Guide to Historic Hotels in the US

Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest and most significant historic hotels, has just inducted 27 historic hotels into membership in 2018. This means you can now stay where history was made, by overnighting in a historic and often famous or infamous grand hotel.

The oldest hotel dates back to the 1880s. Many of the historic hotels are adaptive reuse historic hotels that have involved converting some or all of a historically significant building to a hotel. Originally, these buildings were built for another purpose in their history. 16 of the 27 historic hotels inducted in 2018 are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, four of the inducted hotels have been designated as National Historic Landmarks or are contributing structures in historic districts that have been designated as National Historic Landmarks by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

The 27 inducted historic hotels represent independent hotels, brands, and collections from across the U.S.A. from 16 different states:

21c Museum Hotel Louisville by MGallery+ (1880s) Louisville, Kentucky
Hotel fun fact: During the 1870s, robbers successfully stole $300,000 from the Falls City Bank. The heist was one of the largest in the country at the time.

Inn at Perry Cabin (1816) Saint Michaels, Maryland
Hotel fun fact: Originally designed and built in 1816 by Samuel Hambleton, who was a War of 1812 Navy veteran and aide-de-camp to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. The Inn was built to resemble the Commodore’s cabin (‘Perry Cabin’) on the flagship U.S.S. Niagara. The Inn at Perry Cabin was featured prominently in the 2005 box office hitWedding Crashers. It was the site of the main wedding reception that appeared in the film.

Blackburn Inn+ (1828) Staunton, Virginia
Hotel fun fact: The building’s namesake, Thomas R. Blackburn, trained as an architect under Thomas Jefferson. Blackburn worked closely with Jefferson on the design of a number of architectural projects in Virginia, including the University of Virginia. The university is now one of the nation’s leading research institutions, as well as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Stagecoach Inn+ (1852) Salado, Texas
Hotel fun fact: Over the years many famous guests found respite at The Stagecoach Inn including, Sam Houston, General George Custer, Robert E. Lee, Jr., cattle barons, Shanghai Pierce, Charles Goodnight, and outlaws Sam Bass and Jesse James.

La Posada de Santa Fe, A Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa+ (1881) Santa Fe, New Mexico
Hotel fun fact: La Posada has been known as “The Art Hotel of New Mexico” for its long practice of exhibiting and selling original local artwork. The hotel’s Gallery Collection is a professionally curated celebration of painting and sculpture from the American Southwest.

21c Museum Hotel Kansas City by MGallery+ (1888) Kansas City, Missouri
Hotel fun fact: President Harry S. Truman and his wife, Bess, were regulars at the hotel’s restaurant, the Savoy Grill. The couple frequently dined in the restaurant’s number four booth, which guests can still visit today.

Riggs Washington DC+ (1891) Washington, DC
Hotel fun fact: Known as the “Bank of Presidents,” 23 different U.S. Presidents and their families, including Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower, banked at Riggs National Bank throughout its history. In 1868, Riggs Bank supplied the U.S. government with a loan of $7.2 million in gold bullion to purchase Alaska from Russia.

The Holly Inn++ (1895) Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina
Hotel fun fact: Pinehurst Resort and its village were designed by famed landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted as a health retreat amid towering pines and mild Southern breezes. Pinehurst was the site of the first miniature golf course and practice facility in America; its founder James Tufts, never played the game.

The Lodge at the Presidio++ (1894) San Francisco, California
Hotel fun fact: The Lodge, located in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is the former US Army post’s Montgomery Street Barracks, built from 1895 to 1897. Many of the guestrooms feature views of either the Golden Gate Bridge, the forest, or the San Francisco Bay.

Belleview Inn (1897) Belleview, Florida
Hotel fun fact: The story of the Belleview Inn begins with Henry Plant, a railroad and steamship entrepreneur from the 19th century, who realized that his passengers would need somewhere to stay. Plant built a grand, Queen Anne-style Victorian hotel that exuded Gilded Age grandeur in 1897. Many famous athletes, entertainers, and politicians, including former Presidents of the United States Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, have visited Belleview Inn.

21c Museum Hotel Nashville by MGallery (1900) Nashville, Tennessee
Hotel fun fact: Local architectural firm Thompson, Gibel & Asmus was responsible for designing the original building, as well as many other historical buildings in Tennessee.

The Carolina Hotel++ (1901) Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina
Hotel fun fact: Head of the Pinehurst Gun Club, sharpshooter Annie Oakley would give shooting exhibitions at The Carolina Hotel twice weekly, instructing thousands through the mid-1920s.

The Candler Hotel Atlanta, Curio Collection by Hilton+ (1906) Atlanta, Georgia
Hotel fun fact: The Candler building was one of the first luxurious high-rise buildings in Atlanta, which can be seen in the detail of the building’s Amicalola marble from north Georgia. The 17-story building was meant to be a monument to Asa G. Candler–prominent Atlanta businessman, one-time mayor, and philanthropist who founded the Coca-Cola Empire.

DoubleTree by Hilton Youngstown Downtown+ (1907) Youngstown, Ohio
Hotel fun fact: Architect Albert Kahn designed the building, originally known as the Stambaugh Building with Neoclassical architecture. Khan is revered as the leading industrial architect of his day.

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati by MGallery+ (1912) Cincinnati, Ohio
Hotel fun fact: Cincinnati Reds star outfielder, Edd Roush, learned of the Black Sox Scandal at the hotel during the infamous 1919 World Series.

21c Museum Hotel Lexington by MGallery+ (1913) Lexington, Kentucky
Hotel fun fact: The Fayette National Bank Building bears the distinction of being Lexington’s first skyscraper, as well as the first building in the region with an elevator.

21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City by MGallery+ (1916) Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Hotel fun fact: The famed industrial architect Albert Kahn designed the assembly plant that would later become the hotel. Kahn created over a thousand different buildings for the Ford Motor Company in his lifetime.

The Sire Hotel Lexington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (1917) Lexington, Kentucky
Hotel fun fact: Guests can explore the Gratz Park Historic District and visit the park’s Fountain of Youth, dedicated to James Lane Allen, one of Kentucky’s fist significant novelists.

Hotel Phillips+ (1918) Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Hotel fun fact: The Hotel Phillips is significant for being the tallest commercial office building in the entire state of South Dakota at the time it was built in 1918.

The Manor Inn++ (1923) Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina
Hotel fun fact: Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer often said that he had fond memories of The Manor Inn, where both he and his father stayed whenever they traveled to Pinehurst together.

Distrikt Hotel Pittsburgh, Curio Collection by Hilton+ (1924) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hotel fun fact: Architect Thomas Paige designed Distrikt Hotel’s unique appearance. He also designed several other noteworthy structures in the area including the Mellon Institute.

Hotel Casa del Mar+ (1926) Santa Monica, California
Hotel fun fact: Architect Charles J. Plummer designed Casa del Mar; this Grande Dame is one of the best surviving examples of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture in Santa Monica.

The Greystone Hotel+ (1939) Miami, Florida
Hotel fun fact: Architect Henry Hohauser originally designed the hotel. Designing over 300 buildings in his career, he is largely responsible for Miami’s Art Deco appearance.

21c Museum Hotel Durham by MGallery (1937) Durham, North Carolina
Hotel fun fact: In addition to this hotel, the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb & Harmon designed many other famous American buildings throughout the 20th century, including the iconic Empire State Building in New York City.

Tulsa Club Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton+ (1927) Tulsa, Oklahoma
Hotel fun fact: The Tulsa Club first opened with many luxurious facilities for its time, including several gymnasiums, a grand ballroom, and a stunning rooftop garden called the Sky Terrace.

Georgetown Inn (1962) Washington, D.C.
Hotel fun fact: Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Gordon Cooper, Jim Lovell, and Dick Gordon were guests at the Georgetown Inn in January 1967.

The Lodge at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (1968) Farmington, Pennsylvania
Hotel fun fact: The Lodge at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort harkens back to its original establishment as the hunting retreat of Colonel Willard F. Rockwell, founder and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Rockwell International and his wife, Clara Thayer, a descendent of John Alden, who was a passenger on the Mayflower when it landed at Plymouth Rock.

“Each of these iconic historic hotels has contributed to our nation’s history and is an excellent example of historic preservation,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Each is unique and has a history worth exploring and experiencing. We are delighted to recognize and celebrate these wonderful historic hotels. We applaud their community leaders, owners, management, and associates for being great stewards of the stories about world leaders, celebrities, and other luminaries that were involved in the original building and use of these historic icons or as guests stayed in these hotels.”

So why not stay where history was made and book your next trip into a historic hotel.

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