Americana: Closing the Republic's Clubhouse

"Willard's Hotel," Carl Sandburg once wrote, "more justly could be called the center of Washington than either the Capitol or the White House or the State Department." In August 1923, in fact, it did serve as an interim White House while Calvin Coolidge waited for Warren Harding's widow to vacate the executive mansion two blocks away. Lincoln lived at the Willard with his family before the 1861 inauguration. U. S. Grant would shamble over in the evening to smoke cigars and glower from the armchair set aside for him in a dimly lit corner of the lobby.

The hotel is...

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