Once upon a time in Cleveland, there was a hotel so grand that it puts all other hotels to shame. I’m talking about the Statler Hotel, The hotel has a history that’s as intriguing as it is impressive. For starters, it was part of America’s first hotel chain owned by E.M. Statler, who made the middle-class feel like royalty by charging only $1.50 per night. And the best part? Every room had its own bathroom and light in the closet, which were revolutionary at the time.
The Statler Hotel was a prime location for good times in Cleveland, particularly during the Golden Age of the 1930s. The hotel had undergone a series of expansions that gave birth to new additions like a ballroom, a Gentlemen’s Lounge, a Library, and an exceptional dining facility. The ballroom had an awe-inspiring ceiling, while the Terrance Room and Pompeian Room served as perfect spots for those who wanted a unique dining experience. The only downside is that the ballroom and speakeasy are no longer open to the public.
Here are some interesting facts about the Statler Hotel:
- The Statler Hotel opened in Cleveland in October of 1912. It was originally built with 700 rooms, which were later expanded to 1,000 rooms.
- The Statler Hotel was actually part of one of America’s first hotel chains, owned by E.M. Statler. The first Statler Hotel was built in Buffalo, NY in 1907. The Buffalo version of the Statler had a number of innovations that the Cleveland Hotel later improved upon, including free stationary and pens for every visitor with the Statler logo on them.
- The Cleveland Hotel was followed by others built under the Statler name in Washington D.C., Detroit, St. Louis, New York, Hartford, Dallas and Los Angeles. Truly the first national hotel chain.
- During the 1930s, the hotel was in its Golden Age and went through a number of expansions that included a new ballroom, Gentlemen’s Lounge, Library, and a pretty interesting dining facility. The ballroom and the speakeasy are still there today but not accessible to the general public
The ballroom was a sight to behold, with a stunning ceiling that left visitors in awe. The expansion also provided a new Gentlemen’s Lounge and Library, both of which were perfect for enjoying a good book or conversation. The hotel’s dining facilities were equally impressive, with the famous Terrace Room and Pompeian Room offering guests a unique and unforgettable dining experience. Unfortunately, not all good things last forever.
In 1954, the Hilton Chain acquired the Statler Hotels, and many considered the Cleveland hotel to be the crown jewel. In early 1971, new owners decided to make part of the facility office space, and the building was renamed the Cleveland Plaza. Cleveland developer Carl Milstein purchased the building in 1980 and completed the conversion of the hotel property to all office space. A famous Swingos restaurant was built on the first floor, and parts of it are still there.
In 2001, the storied property again went through a conversion, this time from office to apartments, and it remains so to this day. The Statler has been beautifully restored, and it’s now affiliated with the Century Modern Collection brand of luxury apartments. The lobby of the hotel is still a gem, with elegant marble and brass, and lined with palms and Persian carpets. The exterior of the steel skyscraper is Indiana limestone, brick, and terra cotta.
It’s a shame that the ballroom and speakeasy are no longer accessible to the public, but that doesn’t mean that the Statler isn’t worth a visit. If you’re in Cleveland, take a stroll through the lobby and admire the beauty and history of this remarkable hotel.
The Statler Hotel may be a reminder of Cleveland’s glorious past, but it’s also a testament to the power of innovation and imagination. As we look to the future, let’s not forget the remarkable achievements of the past and continue to celebrate the beauty and history of the Statler Hotel. If you’re in Cleveland, take a stroll through the lobby and immerse yourself in the hotel’s rich history.