The dazzling lobbies of these 22 historical hotels will take your breath away with their glamour

Dazzling old hotel lobbies - Vintage glamour and elegance

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.

Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email

With beautiful design and old-world charm, historical hotels in the US, like many of those shown below, had a lavish Edwardian elegance.

Many of the most luxurious vintage hotels we’ve featured here were built during the peak of the Industrial Revolution — around the turn of the 20th century.

Usually commissioned by titans of industry or finance, these opulent buildings were intended to put their wealth and influence on prominent display in their respective communities.

And while the building exteriors were beautiful — like the facade of New York City’s Plaza hotel here — the interiors were what really shined.

Exterior of the Plaza Hotel, New York City (1910)

Take as just one example, the Secor Hotel (hotel #21 on the numbered list below) in downtown Toledo, Ohio:

Around the turn of the century, members of Toledo’s elite sought to use their influence to create their own vision of the city.

Jay K. Secor, vice-president of The Commercial Savings Bank and Trust Company of Toledo, and Arthur J Secor, a prominent member of the Secor-Berdan company… created the Secor Hotel, a premier hotel in the heart of Downtown Toledo.

The ten-story, 400 room hotel opened in 1908 and earned national acclaim as the first fire-proof hotel between New York City and Chicago. This luxurious hotel demonstrates the Secor family’s influence in Toledo, emphasized by its appropriation of Florentine palace architecture. 

From Bowling Green State University’s Division of Art History

Built before the common use of sleek glass, polished metal and all kinds of plastic materials, these stately buildings were often created with stone and rich woods, imported marble, plaster, brass and wrought iron.

Highly skilled artisans contributed the elaborately designed and handcrafted wood and plasterwork details.

Here, we have found 20 pictures of some of the most gorgeous historical hotel lobbies from across the US. Have a scroll and step back in time with us to a more elegant era!

1. Hermitage Hotel lobby – Nashville, Tennessee (1910)

Hermitage Hotel lobby - Nashville (1910)


2. Olympic Hotel lobby – Seattle Washington (Colorized)

Olympic Hotel lobby - Seattle Washington-Colorized


3. The West Foyer of the Astoria Hotel (1903)

Historical hotel: The West Foyer of the Astoria Hotel in 1903

ALSO SEE: Why the old Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York was the very definition of extravagance


4. Hotel Utica, reception lobby, Utica, N.Y. (1910)

Historical hotel: Hotel Utica, reception lobby, Utica, N.Y. 1910

DON’T MISS: Take a trip back to New York’s original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel & see inside this famously luxurious old hotel


5. Palace Hotel lobby – San Francisco [Colorized] (1900s)

In many of these historical hotel photos, you will notice skylights and soaring atriums. In an era when electrical lighting was still new (and could get expensive), these glass ceilings filled the space below with natural light, and — even today — would be considered an impressive architectural feature.

Historical hotel: Palace Hotel lobby - San Francisco c1900-Colorized


6. Carlton Hotel lobby (1918)

Historical hotel: Carlton Hotel lobby 1918


7. Historical hotel lobby and grand staircase, Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Virginia – Colorized (1900s)

Historical hotel: Lobby and Grand Staircase, Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Va. c1900 Colorized

ALSO SEE: New York City’s old Hotel Majestic roof garden was for the well-to-do (1903)


8. Claypool Hotel lobby — Indianapolis, Indiana – Colorized (c1903)

Article excerpt from the The Indianapolis News (Indiana) May 9, 1903

The grand lobby is said to be the largest hotel lobby in the United States. It is a 98 feet long and 72 feet wide and the richly decorated ceiling, supported by 16 massive columns, is 33 feet high. It reaches up to two stories and the second floor of the house serving as a ballroom.

The appearance of this Grand lobby is impressive. It is of a rich Grecian style of architecture done entirely in marble, imitation marble, architectural iron, burnished brass, and mahogany.

Its chief characteristic is the 16 beautiful 24-foot columns that, resting on the beautiful base of the gray Livido marble, are topped with pilasters and capitols of the same marble. These columns are 3 feet in diameter and are splendid imitations of Sienna marble.

All of the walls on the lower floor of this are the same material, which has a rich reddish brown color.

Historical hotel: Claypool Hotel lobby - Indianapolis Indiana c1903-Colorized


9. The New Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C. — Lobby (1900s)

Historical hotel: The New Willard Hotel Washington D.C. - lobby c1900-Colorized


10. View of the Main Lobby, Book – Cadillac Hotel, Detroit, Mich. (1900-1910)

Historical hotel: View of the Main Lobby, Book - Cadillac Hotel, Detroit, Mich. c1900-1910


11. Marble stair in historical hotel foyer, Murray Hill Hotel (1900s)

Historical hotel: Marble stair in foyer, Murray Hill Hotel c1900

MORE HERE: See old Florida hotels & historic resorts: Trip back to these amazing Victorian vacation destinations


12. Office and foyer, Murray Hill Hotel, New York, N.Y [Colorized] (1905)

Office and foyer, Murray Hill Hotel, New York, N.Y c1905 Colorized


13. Lobby, Hotel Belmont, New York (1906)

Historical hotel: Lobby, Hotel Belmont, New York (1906)


14. Hotel Knickerbocker lobby – New York (1909)

Historical hotel: Hotel Knickerbocker lobby - New York (1909)


15. Lobby of Saint Charles Hotel, New Orleans Louisiana (1914)

Lobby of Saint Charles Hotel, New Orleans Louisiana (1914)


16. Reception Lobby, The Tutwiler — Birmingham, Alabama (1900s)

Reception Lobby, The Tutwiler, Birmingham Alabama (1900s)


17. Historical Hotel Grand Staircase and Lobby, Hotel Touraine, Boston, Mass. (1900s)

Grand Staircase and Lobby, Hotel Touraine, Boston, Mass. c1900


18. Lobby of the Hotel Pfister, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1900s)

Lobby of the Hotel Pfister Milwaukee c1900 Colorized


19. Vintage Hotel Rochester — Lobby (1900s)

Vintage Hotel Rochester - lobby 1900s


20. Mark Hopkins Hotel — San Francisco (1920s)

Mark Hopkins Hotel - San Francisco (c1920s)


21. The Lobby, Secor Hotel, Toledo – Colorized (1900s)

Historical hotel: The Lobby, Secor Hotel, Toledo - Early 1900s (Colorized)


22. Lounge in foyer, Murray Hill Hotel, New York, N.Y (1905)

Historical hotel: Lounge in foyer, Murray Hill Hotel, New York, N.Y c1905

NOW SEE THIS: The end of a vintage hotel era: New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel torn down (1929)

PS: If you liked this article, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest, plus see exclusive retro-inspired products in our shop. Thanks for visiting!

Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email

You might also like...

The fun never ends:

Comments on this story

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

See some of our books!