Hotel history

Historical hotels, people and things in hospitality

Grand Hotel of Mackinac Island

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.

Brooklyn's Hotel Bossert and St. George Hotel

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.

The Skirvin Hotel, Part 1

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.