Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stoneligh Hotel: An Old Girl Gets a Face Lift

Last night Randy and I attending a party at The Stoneleigh Hotel to debut their newly remodeled Penthouse. When The Stoneleigh Court Hotel opened in October 1923 at the corner of Maple Avenue and Wolf Street, it was the first building of its kind in Dallas. The grand opening announcement heralded the building as a “…masterly accomplishment of Art and Craft…being the finest structure of its kind, the most modernly operated, most beautifully and completely appointed hotel south of the Mason and Dixon line.” At the time, it was the tallest hotel west of the Mississippi offering “fine” views of the city from its prominent suburban address in Oak Lawn –“out of the turmoil and dirt of the city.” And in 1929 was also the first hotel in Dallas to offer air-conditioned guest rooms. In 1934, after staying at The Stoneleigh Court, Col. Harry E. Stewart was so taken with the hotel he purchased it.  By 1938, part of the eleventh floor and a twelfth floor addition were converted into a 7,500-square-foot art deco penthouse complete with hidden rooms and a secret passage to the tenth floor; thought to be a discreet escape route for late-night poker games. Adorned with marble floors, 500-year-old imported English Oak paneling from London’s Charterhouse School, ornamental plaster ceilings and ornate tile work, the rooms were a showcase for the Stewart’s collection of fine art and antiques and for hosting the elite of Dallas and celebrity guests of the hotel.

In 2007 a massive renovation started to bring this magnificent hotel back to its former glory. And they have done a marvelous job. If you ever need a place to stay in Dallas, I would highly recommend this jewel of a hotel located minutes from Downtown. The party was lots of fun. I loved wandering through the hotel and the Penthouse level seeing what they had done. There were themed bar and food stations at every turn. It was a fun night out!