User: Willard Hotel
Date of plate: February 1, 1984
Notes: Located at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the 12-story, 450-room Hotel Willard opened its doors in 1901. The Beaux-Arts hotel was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, who also planned the Waldorf-Astoria (New York) and drew the plans for the Plaza. In 1925, a 61-room addition was completed.
The Willard family sold its share of the hotel in 1946 and the hotel closed in July 1968. It remained vacant for the next 16 years, until after an extended legal battle, the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation purchased the property with its partners the Oliver Carr Company and InterContinental Hotels Group. Together, they renovated and expanded the facilities over a period of two years and the hotel reopened on August 20, 1986. The formal hotel opening celebration took place in late September 1986.
This particular plate has no manufacturer, only a number on the back 23/350. Under the name Willard in the well of the plate, is the date, February 1, 1984. According to an article in the Washington Post from Saturday, January 28, 1984, we now know what happened on February 1, 1984:
"At noon Wednesday officials and citizens will gather at the site for a luncheon given by the developer to celebrate the commencement of construction, scheduled to be completed by the summer 1986."
This is plate #23 of 350 which was made for that luncheon and taken home by the participants.
For additional information:
Documenting the Willard Hotel Restoration
Willard Intercontinental Washington
ID and plate photos contributed by dbstoneware
Exterior Willard Hotel 2006 photo contributed by dbking