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The Mount Washington Hotel
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Mount Washington Hotel is located in New Hampshire
Nearest city: Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 44°15′29″N 71°26′25″W / 44.25806°N 71.44028°W / 44.25806; -71.44028Coordinates: 44°15′29″N 71°26′25″W / 44.25806°N 71.44028°W / 44.25806; -71.44028
Built/Founded: 1900-1902
Architect: Charles Alling Gifford, et al.
Architectural style(s): Renaissance Revival, other
Governing body: Private
Added to NRHP: September 27, 1978[1]
Designated NHL: June 24, 1986[2]
NRHP Reference#: 78000213

The Mount Washington Hotel opened in 1902 near Mount Washington, in the town of Carroll, New Hampshire. The area is better known as Bretton Woods, and includes the Bretton Woods ski resort nearby. It is located at the northern end of Crawford Notch, 6 miles (9.7 km) east of the village of Twin Mountain, New Hampshire, along U.S. Route 302.

The hotel was constructed at a cost of 1.7 million dollars by Joseph Stickney, a native of Waltham, Massachusetts who had made a fortune before the age of 30 as a Pennsylvania based coal broker. In 1881 Stickney and a partner had purchased the Mount Pleasant Hotel nearby from lumberman John T.G. Leavitt, a large early hotel that was later demolished.[3] Subsequently, Stickney began work on his Mount Washington Hotel. He brought in 250 Italian artisans to build it, particularly the granite and stucco masonry. Construction started in 1900 on the Y-shaped hotel, which opened July 28, 1902. At the opening ceremony, Stickney told the audience: "Look at me, gentlemen ... for I am the poor fool who built all this!" Within a year he was dead at the age of 64.[4]

His wife, Carolyn Stickney, summered at the hotel for the next decade, adding the Sun Dining Room with guest rooms above, the fourth floor between the towers, and the chapel honoring her late husband. Under its capable first manager, John Anderson, the hotel was a success. But the advent of income tax, Prohibition and the Great Depression curtailed the hospitality business. In 1936, Mrs. Stickney's nephew, Foster Reynolds, inherited the hotel, which closed in 1942 because of World War II. In 1944, a Boston syndicate bought the extensive property for about $450,000. That year, the Bretton Woods monetary conference took place, establishing, among other things, the World Bank. The owners were paid $300,000 for the loss of business and promised a daily room charge of $18 per person for the 19-day conference.[4]

The Mount Washington Hotel and Resort is one of the last surviving grand hotels in the White Mountains, and includes an 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, as well as a 9-hole course on its facilities.

In the local area, it is well known for a tradition of grand firework shows for Independence Day on the Fourth of July and on New Year's Eve at midnight.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[2][5]

In 1999, the hotel was open for its first winter season. Prior to that, the hotel would close to guests late in the fall and open in the spring. The entire hotel was overhauled prior to the winter, with efficient windows installed in the entire hotel.

The hotel was featured in an episode of the television series Ghost Hunters, when it was searched by the TAPS paranormal investigation team on February 6, 2008.

In January 2009 the Mount Washington Resort completed a 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) addition that includes a 25,000 square foot spa and a 25,000 square foot conference center.

It is currently owned by Omni Resorts, with the resort renamed to Omni Mount Washington Resort.

References

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. http://www.nr.nps.gov/. 
  2. ^ a b "Mount Washington Hotel". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1739&ResourceType=Building. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  3. ^ Mt. Pleasant Hotel, 1875–1939, WhiteMountainHistory.org
  4. ^ a b Joel J. Bedor, The Mount Washington Hotel & Resort -- a Heritage of Optimism; A Newcomen Society Address, 2003
  5. ^ Carolyn Pitts (June, 1985), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Mount Washington Hotel, National Park Service, http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/78000213.pdf  and Accompanying 9 photos, exterior and interior, from 1980, 1988, and undated.PDF (2.84 MB)

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