Washington: New Life for an Old Inn

New Life for an Old Inn

The restoration took five years and $113 million to accomplish, but Washingtonians who last week strolled through the Victorian opulence of the reopened Willard Hotel a block from the White House seemed to find it all worthwhile. Shuttered for 18 years, the historic structure, which evolved from four row houses built in 1816, had been gutted and painstakingly renovated by Developer Oliver Carr. At a black-tie reception, descendants of Founder Henry Willard gathered for pictures under the massive chandeliers in the ornate Crystal Room.

So thorough was the restoration that 7,000 sq. ft. of marble floor tiles were lifted, cleaned and...

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