Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is a Marriott International property in Washington, D.C.. The hotel is located in the Woodley Park neighborhood at 2600 Woodley Road, NW and Connecticut Avenue, NW, adjacent the Woodley Park”“Zoo/Adams Morgan station of the Washington Metrorail system. The Wardman Park is the largest hotel in the capital, with 1,316 guest rooms, and 195,000 square feet (18,100 m 2) of total event space and 95,000 square feet (8,800 m 2) of exhibit space.

History
In 1918, developer Harry Wardman celebrated the end of World War I by opening the five-million-dollar 1,000-room Wardman Park Hotel. In 1928, the main building was expanded with the opening of the annex, now known as the Wardman Tower and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Before the United States entry into World War II, espionage and intrigue enveloped the historic hotel with a beguiling British spy named Cynthia, who operated out of the premises as she spied on the French Vichy Embassy. Cloaked in the darkness of night, she would visit her lover, an embassy employee whom she had compromised, and steal top-secret documents, transporting them back to the hotel and photographing them in a lab she had set up in her room. “In the late 1940s, the hotel pool was utilized by the 5th Marine Reserves who were taught how to swim with their clothes on. Images of Army Special Forces soldiers rappelling down the side of the Sheraton Park Hotel have also been located, taken during a training exercise on October 3, 1962. The first televised broadcast of NBC’s Meet the Press took place in 1947 in the Wardman Tower, where host Lawrence Spivak was a resident. Other shows broadcast from the hotel include The Camel News Caravan, The Today Show (Frank Blair segments), and the The Arthur Murray Dance Program. The Sheraton Corporation purchased the property in 1953 and renamed it the Sheraton-Park Hotel. Substantial additions were made to the property transforming it into a full-scale convention hotel, including the 1964 addition known as the Park Tower. In 1977 the main hotel building was demolished and replaced by a modern hotel and the entire property was renamed the Sheraton Washington Hotel. In 1998, following a protracted lawsuit against Sheraton by the hotel’s then owners, John Hancock Insurance and the Sumitomo Corp, Marriott International took over management of the property, renaming the hotel the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. In 1999, Thayer Hotel Investors of Annapolis, Md., purchased the Marriot Wardman Park. These investors hoped, in 2004, to sell the Hotel. Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed on November 20, 2008, while giving a speech to the Federalist Society in Washington D.C. at the hotel. He lost consciousness but was talking when he was led away to George Washington University Hospital.

Residents
The Wardman Tower building has been home to a number of politicians and other public figures, including three U.S. presidents :

  • Vice President Spiro Agnew
  • Vice President Charles Curtis
  • Actress Marlene Dietrich
  • Senator Bob Dole
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • U.S. Attorney Paul M. Gagnon
  • Senator Barry Goldwater
  • President Herbert Hoover
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Socialite Perle Mesta
  • Senator Chuck Robb
  • Chief Justice Frederick M. Vinson
  • Vice President Henry Wallace
  • Chief Justice Earl Warren
  • TWA President Jack Frye and wife, Helen