Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington DC
Hosting every inaugural ball since President Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Omni Shoreham Hotel has become Washington, D.C. legend in its own right.
The idea for the hotel was first conceived by a man by the name of Harry Bralove, who had plans to build a combination of temporary and residential living. Bralove hired noted architect Joseph Abel to build the place. The doors of The Shoreham Hotel opened on October 30, 1930 with a building cost of $4 million. Rudy Vallee, a legendary bandleader and entertainer, was flown out to perform for the grand opening.
The Omni Shoreham has hosted a gaggle of famous entertainers over the years in the legendary Blue Room and the Marquee Bar and Lounge. Some of those entertainers include: Judy Garland, Phyllis Diller, Benny Goodman, Aretha Franklin, Peggy Lee, George Kirby, Pearl Bailey, Eartha Kitt, the New Journeyman, Smothers Brothers, Bill Cosby, Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, and countless others. The Blue Room is also the place where John Kennedy brought Jackie Kennedy when they were still courting and where Liza Minelli had her first public performance.
The opening of on Halloween night might have been a foreshadowing of the historic hotel's apparent haunting. The strange occurrences have been reported in the rooms where a maid and young girl died and thus, those rooms have been named "The Ghost Suites."
The stately elegance of the Omni Shoreham Hotel has made it a favorite destination of presidents, dignitaries, and world travelers since the 1930s. Famed singer Rudy Vallee flew in for the hotel’s grand opening in a tri-motored Amelia Earhart plane. In 1933, the DC hotel was outfitted with a special ramp and elevator to accommodate the needs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Many prominent politicians made Omni Shoreham Hotel their home during the stay in Washington, including Senator Stuart Symington from Missouri who was known to host President Harry Truman for all-night poker games. Many U.S. senators and congressmen, diplomats, and their families have also been guests.
The basement of the historic Washington hotel also housed a furniture factory started by C.V. Harlan, a master wood carver who was responsible for much of the handmade furnishings and embellishments in the hotel's interiors. The hotel recently completed a three-year, $80 million restoration which was one of the largest undertaken in the country.