Lost Washington: The Hotel Grafton
The Hotel Grafton was originally built in 1894 for Herbert, Fleming & Dulaney, and was located at 1139 Connecticut Avenue, NW (northeast corner of Connecticut and Desales). In 1909, it underwent extensive improvements and additions estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $200,000.
The new section added in the 1909 construction faced Desales street with a frontage of 45 feet. The exterior was faced in gray tapestry brick and the building was trimmed with white Indiana limestone.
The addition contained an elevator, 45 sleeping rooms and 30 bathrooms, and had terrazzo floors in the corridors. There was also a kitchen installed in the basement with enameled brick walls and a red tile floor. All in all, the addition was considered fireproof.
After prohibition had been repealed at the end of 1933, the Grafton along with the New Ebbitt Hotel continued to be "Dry Hotels" (no alcohol). At this time both properties were owned and operated by George C. Clarke.
The Grafton ceased being a hotel in 1941 when it was leased to the British Supply Council in North America. In the spring of 1945 it was purchased with plans for constructing a new 12-story office building on the site.
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