The Blennerhassett Hotel

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Discover the The Blennerhassett Hotel with its Queen Anne architecture and European glamour and personal service.

The Blennerhassett Hotel was constructed at a time when the United States was defined by great economic prosperity, industrial expansion, and significant social reform.

In the late 1800s, money from oil and natural gas flooded into Parkersburg, West Virginia, and the town quickly became a vivacious city that welcomed businessmen and visitors from all over the country. Designed and built by William Chancellor, a prominent Parkersburg businessman, Blennerhassett opened in 1889 and quickly became a grand showplace for what would later be known as the Gaslight Era. The original hotel had approximately 50 guest rooms around a central staircase. Restrooms were common places on each of the four guest floors and the kitchen was located on the fifth floor. What is now the hotel's game room originally housed the First National Bank of Parkersburg and had the luxury of electricity.

The hotel was named after Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett, who settled on an island in the Ohio River in 1798 and built a Palladian mansion on their European-style estate (the island now called Blennerhassett Island). It was the envy of all locals, but they didn't rise to national fame until they allowed former Vice President Aaron Burr to use the island as the base of operations for his controversial military exhibition. Labeled as a conspiracy by some, the Blennerhassetts fled down the Ohio River to escape when militia invaded the island.

Staying true to the legacy of Blennerhassett, many updates and additions have been made over the years, with a full restoration taking place in 1986. Registered on the National Register of Historic Places, the charm of the hotel is seen in the architecture and original antiques that have been part of Blennerhassett from its beginning. Now, a new era is dawning; in 2003 new European-style decor, gourmet cuisine, and a return to personal service were introduced.

  • About the Architecture +
    "This grand Queen Anne Victorian style hotel was named after the Blennerhassetts who settled on an island in the Ohio River in 1798. The City Club is known for its steel-reinforced concrete walls and ceilings (artfully fashioned to look like wood), leaded glass windows, interior courtyards and magnificent indoor swimming pool. This building is a blend of Romanesque and Moorish styles of architecture common to the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Julia Morgan’s engineering skills, evident in the seismically solid building’s exterior, were matched by her attention to the interior designs for furniture, light fixtures, distinctive fireplaces and even dishes."

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