Market Overview

The 2018 Historic Hotels Most Magnificent Ceilings and Domes List Announced by Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide


The iconic and legendary hotels inducted into Historic Hotels of America®
and Historic Hotels Worldwide® are noteworthy for their
grandeur and architectural significance. Guests and visitors to these
hotels can see wonderful examples of the artistry, craftsmanship, and
extraordinarily detailed work preserved from the past. Some of the best
examples are viewed by looking up at these magnificent ceilings and
domes in the public areas of these hotels including lobbies, ballrooms,
and restaurants. These ornate ceilings and domes include some of the
finest examples of stained-glass, painted frescoes, painted ornamental
plaster, stenciled wood, and of course, gold leaf. Often, these
beautiful, ornate, grand and detailed ceilings have been recognized as
historically significant local or regional historic landmarks. Visit
for a complete listing of these ornate masterpieces.

Look up and see the breathtaking ceilings and domes at historic hotels
across the country. Here are the 2018 Top 25 Most Magnificent Ceilings
and Domes at Historic Hotels of America:

Willard InterContinental, Washington, DC
The Willard's
iconic lobby has a coffered ceiling that is adorned with 48 original
state seals. The seals for Alaska and Hawaii reside on the back pillars
of the iconic Peacock Alley. For over a century, the Crystal Room has
played host to many of Washington DC's most elegant social and corporate
events. From sophisticated receptions and lavish galas, to prestigious
conferences and annual meetings, the Crystal Room provides a stunning
backdrop for an unforgettable event. Exuding spectacular opulence, the
Crystal Room's design motif includes mottled green columns,
crystal-dripping chandeliers, ornate hand-carved gold leaf crown
molding, and antique drapery.

Lick Springs Hotel
(1845) French Lick, Indiana
Baroque-style murals on the ceiling of the mezzanine level of the hotel
are visible by just looking up from the lobby. In keeping with the
area's fame for producing mineral-laced "Pluto Water" 100 years ago, the
murals depict the mythological story of Pluto's World. A single mural
over the main lobby shows Orpheus and Eurydice, symbols of love, in a
springtime setting. This is the story of Pluto's world, as told through
a breathtaking mural containing six separate panels. The mural may look
like a masterpiece that was crafted in a bygone era, though it actually
was designed, painted and installed during the 2005-2006 renovation that
restored French Lick Springs Hotel to its original grandeur. A group of
artists from Conrad Schmitt Studios invested 1,500 hours in the planning
and creation of these mural panels. In the process, Pluto's world came
to life.

House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa
(1852) Mobile, Alabama
the lobby of the Battle House is a stunningly beautiful dome that is
over 42 feet tall and 63 feet wide. The Tiffany-style glass in the dome
features fleur-de-lis designs, in keeping with the city's history, as
the true birthplace of Mardi Gras. The painting technique used to depict
these rulers in the lobby ceiling is called Trompe-l'œil. It is
an art
technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical
that the depicted objects really exist, instead of being
just two-dimensional paintings. In refurbishing the dome from 2004 to
2006, master plaster artists were brought in to work with their
apprentices and make molds of all the design elements in the ceiling.
The glass ceiling designs were carefully repaired and more than 95
percent of the glass is original to the 1908 construction.

Menger Hotel
(1859) San Antonio, Texas
The Victorian lobby
reflects the 1909 remodeling, designed by noted San Antonio architect
Alfred Giles. Giles transformed the simple utilitarian space into a
grander, neoclassical style which was popular at the time. The
oval-shaped lobby is dominated by eight Corinthian columns. The original
columns were cast iron and encircles the redesigned columns ornamented
with festoons, garlands, modillions, and painted to resemble stone. The
leaded skylight was added as part of the 1909 alterations, as was the
decorative tile floor which extended into the Colonial Room Restaurant.
Many of the pieces of furniture in the lobby are believed to have been
purchased by William Menger on his frequent buying trips to New York and
Europe in the 1860s.

Peabody Memphis
(1869) Memphis, Tennessee
The ornate stained
glass skylight and carved wood ceiling in The Peabody's Grand Lobby is
one of the signature characteristics of the hotel, measuring in at 32
feet high and 3,100 square feet in total. The ceiling dates back to the
opening of the current Peabody, built in 1925. The hotel was designed by
noted Chicago architect Walter Ahlschlager, who also designed the Hilton
Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. The glass skylight is located in the
Peabody Lobby Bar and the lobby fountain where the famed Peabody Ducks
reside during the day. The Duckmaster offers daily history tours in the
Grand Lobby, which highlight the ornate ceiling. A little known fact
about the ceiling is that the beautiful carved wood that surrounds the
stained glass is not wood as it appears, but sculpted plaster.

House®, a Hilton Hotel
(1871) Chicago, Illinois
The ceiling of
the Palmer House has been compared to that of the Sistine Chapel of
Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Measuring in at 28 feet high and 50 feet
by 28 feet wide, it is approximately the size of a basketball court.
These 21 distinct pieces of artwork were completed in Paris in 1926 by
Louis (Pierre) Rigal. Three large circular panels illustrate classic
romantic scenes from Greek mythology. Depicting Aphrodite, the goddess
of love; Apollo, the god of sun, music, and poetry in his pursuit of
Daphne; and the god Pluto in his pursuit of Persephone. There are nine
vertical paintings of the Muses where each Muse depicts a joy of life.
The 16 plaster frescos that frame the ceiling are done in the style of
the 15th century Della Robbia family in the colors of
Wedgewood blue, cinnabar, and celadon. The paintings that adorn the
ceiling were completed in 1917 in France and later installed in the
hotel's ceiling in 1927.

(1873) Little Rock, Arkansas

by the Sea
(1874) New Castle, New Hampshire

Pfister Hotel
(1893) Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
(1894) St.
Louis, Missouri

Jefferson Hotel
(1895) Richmond, Virginia

Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods
(1902) New Hampshire

Baden Springs Hotel
(1902) West Baden Springs, Indiana

(1904) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hill Resort and Spa
(1905) Proctorsville, Vermont

Seelbach Hilton Louisville
(1905) Louisville, Kentucky

Otesaga Hotel and Cooper Inn
(1909) Cooperstown, New York

Suites by Hilton Portland Downtown
(1912) Portland, Oregon

Copley Plaza
(1912) Boston, Massachusetts

Grand Plaza
(1913) Grand Rapids, Michigan

(1918) Colorado Springs, Colorado

(1926) La Jolla, California

(1927) Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hotel (1928) Baltimore,

Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
(1931) Cincinnati, Ohio

In addition to the above, here are other noteworthy and magnificent
ceilings and domes at Historic Hotels Worldwide:

Palacio de Seteais
(1787) Sintra, Portugal
The frescoes of
Salão Nobre at Tivoli Palacio de Seteais are original from the palace's
construction in 1787. The artist of these frescoes is unknown but were
inspired by the French Jean Baptiste Pillement who painted the Pillement
Room. The Royal Room is original from the palace's construction in the
18th century by the Portuguese architect José da Costa e Silva. This
room reflects the romanticism of Sintra and tells a love story in the
frescoes above.

Paris Opera
(1889) Paris, France
Dating back to 1889, its
Eiffel style lobby in the Hilton Opera Paris and Second Empire Style
covered ceiling are decorated with paintings and sculptures by the
artist Charles Joseph Lameire (1832-1910). Several French movies were
filmed with this magnificent backdrop over the years.

Le Château Frontenac
(1893) Québec City, Canada
original sketch for the beautiful hand painted ceiling of the Verchères
Space were designed by architect William Maxwell. The ceiling includes
leaf and flowering vine design embellished with cartouches and
monochrome motifs. The palette includes shades of blue and green against
a yellow background. Palm designs are visible on top of each columns.
The original name of this space was the Palm Court and its original use
was a tea room. The ceilings date back to 1924.

Hotel Tremezzo
(1910) Tremezzo, Italy
Frescoes in the Grand
Hotel, represent the scenes of the Aeneid of Virgil and scenes of
heaven. The grand ceiling at this historic hotel was painted by
Francesco by Francesco Conegliani, Gianbattista Tiepolo's pupil.
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, well-known as Gianbattista Tiepolo known as
an Italian painter and printmaker from
the Republic
of Venice
. He was prolific, and worked not only in Italy, but also
in Germany and Spain.

New Grand
(1927) Yokohama, Japan

Fullerton Hotel
(1928) Singapore

"Historic hotels are perfect places for romantic getaways or for
celebrating special occasions. These beautiful ceilings and domes are
unique to these legendary hotels," said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive
Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide.
"These ceilings are treasures preserved from the past and are wonderful
examples of the detail, artistry, and craftsmanship from another time.
When you next visit one of these historic hotels, be sure to look up and
discover these grand and ornately detailed ceilings."

About Historic Hotels of America®

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust
for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest
Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic
hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their
authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United
States of America, including 46 states, the District of Columbia, the
U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is
comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels.
More than 30 of the world's finest hospitality brands, chains, and
collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be
nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a
hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S.
Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in
or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and
recognized as having historic significance. For more information, please

About Historic Hotels Worldwide®

Washington DC based Historic Hotels Worldwide® is a
prestigious collection of historic treasures, including historic hotels,
castles, chateaus, palaces, academies, haciendas, villas, monasteries,
and other historic lodging spanning more than ten centuries. Historic
Hotels Worldwide recognizes authentic cultural treasures that
demonstrate exemplary historic preservation and their inspired
architecture, cultural traditions, and authentic cuisine. Historic
Hotels Worldwide along with Historic Hotels of America are official
programs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (United States
of America). allows travelers to book their
next getaway from more than 3,000 historic and cultural experiences, and
view special offers at participating historic hotels from 30 countries.
To be nominated and selected to be featured on this supplemental
marketing program website, historical lodging properties must be at
least 75 years old; utilize historic accommodations; serve as the former
home or be located on the grounds of the former home of famous persons
or significant location for an event in history; be located in or within
walking distance to a historic district, historically significant
landmark, place of historic event, or a historic city center; be
recognized by a local preservation organization or national trust; and
display historic memorabilia, artwork, photography, and other examples
of its historic significance. To be selected in the United States for
inclusion in Historic Hotels Worldwide, a hotel must meet the above
criteria plus be a member of Historic Hotels of America. For more
information, please visit

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