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Nobody Asked Me, But... No. 148;
Hotel History: Hanover Inn Dartmouth (1780), Hanover, New Hampshire*

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

General Ebenezer Brewster whose home occupied the present site of the Hanover Inn, founded Brewster's Tavern in 1780. Around 1813, Brewster's son Amos replaced the tavern with a much larger building called the Dartmouth Hotel. That structure burned to the ground in 1887 and was replaced with a new building in 1889 which was called the Wheelock Hotel. From 1901 to 1903, Dartmouth College carried out extensive renovations to the facility which was named the Hanover Inn. An east wing was added in 1924 followed in 1939 by an exterior expansion. In 1968, a west wing was added to bring the total to 108 rooms. The neo-Georgian structure is owned by Dartmouth College and before it became co-ed, the fourth floor of the Hanover Inn was a women's dormitory with chaperones for single female guests.

More than two centuries after an inn was established at the southwest corner of the Dartmouth Green, The Hanover Inn at Dartmouth has undergone a modernization that successfully melds its historic roots with 21st century conveniences and amenities. The top-to-bottom enhancements include a new lobby with WiFi, a conference center befitting a prestigious educational institution, the largest ballroom in the Upper Valley, new guestrooms and suites, a health and fitness facility, and a signature restaurant overlooking the Dartmouth Green and Main Street.

The Inn's charm remains, with iconic local references woven throughout. A 2,800-pound, hand-crafted "Concord Gray" granite table is the lobby's new centerpiece. It sits on a custom-designed black & white area rug whose colors were inspired by the birch trees so plentiful in the surrounding New Hampshire woods. A series of hand blown glass lamps from the renowned glass blower Simon Pearce of nearby Quechee, Vermont, illuminate the lobby under the new skylight.

These improvements were spearheaded by a team including Boston developer Richard Friedman (Class of '63) of Carpenter & Co, along with New York-based interior designer Bill Rooney, and architects, Cambridge & Associates of Boston, MA.

The Hanover Inn offers ample space for both corporate meetings and social events. The new Minary Conference Center, an 11,000 sq. ft. facility, includes a 4,000 sq. ft. grand ballroom, seven executive conference rooms, and the 1,761 sq. ft. Hayward Room overlooking the picturesque Dartmouth Green with its own granite fireplace and 103-inch plasma screen TV. Located at the corner of Main Street and Wheelock, the conference center is attached to the Hopkins Center for the Arts, adjacent to the Hood Museum of Art, and steps from the new Black Family Visual Arts Center.

Frommer's Review describes the Hanover Inn:

The white-and-brick Hanover Inn is the Upper Valley's best-managed and most up-to-date luxury hotel, perfectly situated for exploring both the Dartmouth campus and the compact downtown.[...] Established in 1780, most of the present-day five-story structure was actually added in successive stages—first in 1924, then again in 1939, and finally in 1968[...].

Most of the rooms here have canopy or four-poster beds and down comforters; some even overlook the pretty green and the busy street. Dining options here include a fancy dining room, a terrace of outdoor tables fronting the green, and a wine bistro.

*excerpted from my book Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (AuthorHouse 2013)

Return to Hanover Inn Dartmouth

*****

About Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Stanley_Turkel_3.jpgStanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion, greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Stanley Turkel is one of the most widely-published authors in the hospitality field. Two of his hotel books have been promoted, distributed and sold by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry and Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi). A third hotel book (Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York) was called "passionate and informative" by The New York Times. His fourth hotel book was described by The New York Times: "Nostalgia for the City's caravansaries will be kindled by Stanley Turkel's...fact-filled...Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt and Oscar of the Waldorf."

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Built to Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi is available for purchase from the publisher by visiting bookstore.authorhouse.com.


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