true heart of any hotel is its guest rooms. It
was here that Statler put most of his attention.
were roughly 1000 rooms. 800 were original and
200 had been added in 1916. These included single
rooms, double rooms, suites, parlors, and sample
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.
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.
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.
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.