Hotel Statler: 1000 rooms, 1000 baths
The Statler in photos
The Guest Rooms
20's Bedroom

The true heart of any hotel is its guest rooms. It was here that Statler put most of his attention.

There were roughly 1000 rooms. 800 were original and 200 had been added in 1916. These included single rooms, double rooms, suites, parlors, and sample rooms.

Great care was put into the mechanics of the rooms. With his early hotels Statler was the first to include light switches by the doors, closets instead of wardrobes, and bath rooms. He even went so far to place the key hole above the doorknob since he once saw a guest stumbling with a key in the dark. These advancements added with the comfort and beauty Louis Rorimer installed made Statler guest rooms popular. The photo on the above illustrates how a Statler guest room would have appeared in the teens and twenties.

Plumbing ShaftsHotelmen thought Statler crazy when he first built every guest room with a bath. But Statler had worked out an ingenious way of achieving an otherwise expensive feat. Firstly he would not have to install expensive communal bathrooms on every floor. Then he devised the 'Statler Plumbing Shaft'. In this method he placed the bathrooms of two rooms back to back. That way they could share the same shaft. Each floor was identical so the bathrooms were on top of each other. In other words, 24 bathrooms on 12 floors would share the same shaft, pipes, and heating ducts.

Studio BedroomStatler guest rooms were seemingly perfect. However, the passing of time would necessitate changes. In 1937 the rooms would be extensively redecorated in a more bright, modern style. New furniture, art, and drapes were installed. Also, a new type of bed was introduced. To maximize the space during the day studio beds were devised which could serve as couches in the day and beds at night. The materials used in the 1937 renovation were made only to last a few years. That way the hotel would have to redecorate every 7 or so years. This would help keep the rooms looking fresh and modern.

Guest Room in the 70'sBy the time the hotel closed the number of rooms had been reduced to 900. Mostly due to the replacement of the sample rooms with the Hilton Towers. Naturally the rooms had been redecorated to suit the current taste. However, the original design and arrangement remained intact. This became a disadvantage for the hotel. The old Statler rooms, once the model for the industry, were obsolete. New roadside motels offered guest large rooms. The Statler rooms were small by comparison. When new hotels, such as the Pontchartrain, opened in the 1960's things worsened. No amount of redecorating could increase a room's size. To remain competitive a complete reconstruction of the guest rooms would be needed. This never took place.


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Copyright 2001, David Kohrman
Last updated on 11-14-01