The Presidency: Outsize Slippers for Mr. Lincoln

Outsize Slippers for Mr. Lincoln

She's the queen of Pennsylvania Avenue again, maybe the nation's most historic private premises, the newly restored Willard Hotel. After 18 empty and derelict years, she will reopen this week, glittering with all her former glory, and more. Developer Oliver Carr poured in $120 million, searched the history books for authenticity, matched the marble in Italy, added an office building and retail complex and retained the building's classic stateliness with bull's-eye windows and mansard roofs -- and the legends of a small, raw country becoming a great republic.

President-elect Franklin Pierce took up residence at the Willard in 1853 and stayed...

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