Among the great hotelier/developers of our time, John Q. Hammons developed 200 hotel properties in 40 states. Hammons disdained standard feasibility studies when assessing potential sites for hotel development. Instead, he relied on his own experience, knowledge and intuition.
Historical hotels, people and things in hospitality
The Americana of New York opened on September 25, 1962 as a 2,000-room convention hotel. It was the first over 1,000-room hotel to be built in New York since the Waldorf Astoria in 1931.
The "Grand" as it is called on the island, is a historic coastal resort with a spectacular 660-foot long, three-story high porch. Below this covered veranda is a manicured lawn sloping down to a formal flower garden where 10,000 geraniums bloom in season among other flower beds with wild blossoms. The hotel is located on Mackinac Island which is in the straits between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. It has thrived because of an important decision made in the 1920s.
The Hotel Bossert was built in 1909 by Brooklyn lumber magnate Louis Bossert as a residential hotel in Brooklyn Heights. The historic 14-story, 224-room hotel, once referred to as the “Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn,” was owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1984.
Few of the nearly five million people who visit Grand Canyon National Park every year are aware of Mary Colter and her accomplishments. No wonder she’s been called “the best-known unknown architect in the national parks.”
Just a hundred years ago, two architectural jewels opened at the Grand Canyon, the 95-room El Tovar Hotel and the Hopi House Indian Arts Building. Both reflect the foresight of Fred Harvey (1835-1901), an immigrant from England.
Hotel owner Dan W. James did not rest on past accomplishments. In 1959, a swimming pool was added to the north side of the hotel, and one year later he built the Four Seasons Lounge next to the pool.
The Skirvin Hilton Hotel is Oklahoma City’s oldest hotel. It was built by William Balser Skirvin, a native of Michigan who made his fortune in Texas land development and oil. In 1906, Skirvin and his family (including his daughter Pearl who would later become Perle Mesta, ambassador to Luxemborg and a famous Washington hostess) moved to Oklahoma City. Skirvin hired Solomon Andrew Layton, an American architect who designed over 100 public buildings in the Oklahoma City area including the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Opened on February 18, 1925 with 440 guestrooms. It is known as the “Grande Dame of Washington”, the “Hotel of Presidents” and as the city’s “Second Best Address” (the White House is the first).
In the September 1912 issue of American Homes & Gardens, futurist Harold D. Eberlein presented his predictions of the impact of air travel on American cities.