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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

The Mayflower: 1927

The Mayflower: 1927

Washington, D.C., circa 1927. "Mayflower Hotel, exterior, Connecticut Avenue." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Still a beauty but --

Gone is that beautiful canopy at the entrance. Today's version is rather ugly. And the facade has been defaced by cutouts for the air conditioning units.

The facade

I love the faces on the upper part of the building and how they match the ones a few feet above the doorways.

Curvature of the Inn

It's really the street that's angled, not the hotel, except for a small portion of the southern tower. The curved facades (on the left) face due west.

[I would guess that the main goal was to have a floorplan that avoided triangular or trapezoidal guest rooms and corners that were not right angles. - Dave]

Mayflower shape

My guess is that the curved fronts were a clever way to fit a rectangular structure on a triangular lot without winding up with something awkwardly-shaped.

It's interesting to see that the giant urns at the top have survived; usually things like that have been removed lest they fall and bash the brains out of unsuspecting passersby below. I wonder what secured them in place originally, and if it's been subsequently reinforced.

Stayed there in '87

Beautiful place then and looks beautiful now.


View Larger Map

Everything old is new again

A website photo of today's Mayflower Renaissance Hotel.

Starting a fashion trend

The guy standing next to the luggage near the front entrance to the hotel. He is a hatless rarity for this time period on Shorpy.

Senior Trip

Thirty years later, the Senior Class of 1957, Lynn View High School, Kingsport, Tennessee, would make this hotel our base for the visit to Washington.

Mayflower memories

In 1987, my husband's uncle came to DC for his 50th law school reunion at George Washington University. He stayed at the Mayflower because he had lived right across the street while he was in law school and he knew that meant he could walk to the campus for the reunion activities.

He told us that his younger brother (my husband's dad) had stayed with him for awhile and used to take his car without his permission.

"I guess I used to leave the keys in the car," he said, pondering how his brother would have the opportunity to just jump in and drive away.

Also... the Mayflower isn't only famous for being one spot where Elliot Spitzer was known as Client Number Nine; it is also where I spent my wedding night almost 27 years ago.

Plus ça change

The Mayflower Hotel has remained a classy place down through the decades in DC. It has restaurants and nightlife as well.

The Escher building?

I can't make that building work in my mind. The left, ground-floor front curves, but the rest of the building doesn't. Odd.

[Look again. Both sections curve, and are angled to face the same direction. Who can tell us why? - Dave]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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