Washington DC's Madison Hotel restored in time for Election 2012
As Washington, DC power brokers ponder possible future changes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, one of the city’s most historic and well known hotels—The Madison—has completed a $20 million facelift in time to welcome crowds of visitors to the Nation’s Capital for the Presidential Inauguration in the winter of 2013.
Opened in February 1963 and hosted by supermodel Suzy Parker, The Madison was the address of choice for visiting celebrities and dignitaries from Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor to the Dalai Lama and the high-level Russian delegation for the U.S.-Russia summit talks. The U.S. State Department has frequently chosen The Madison for its long record of superior service and sensitivity to the privacy and security concerns of its VIP guests.
The Madison, with 356 rooms and suites - all offering complimentary wireless access - was purchased for $123 million in 2011 by Jamestown, a leading asset and management firm based in Atlanta, GA. Michael Phillips, Jamestown chief operating officer, commented on the reasons for investing in The Madison: “Our vision is to restore The Madison to its rightful place among the best-in-class hotels in the Nation’s Capital,” he said.
President John F. Kennedy paid tribute to the importance of The Madison in February 1963 when he was guest of honor on opening day. Since then the hotel has served as a temporary home to incoming presidents during the transition, as they waited to move into the nearby White House. The Madison, located on the strategic corner of 15th and M St. N.W., just a few short blocks from the White House, has served as the “interim White House” for presidents-elect George Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Noted architect and interior designer Dominick Coyne oversaw the current restoration. Recognizing the challenge posed by a traditional interior design and modern façade, Coyne attempted to bridge the distance between the two elements. “The challenge was to find the youth in the midst of all the tradition paying tribute to the century’s old James and Dolley Madison influences,” he explained. A unique feature of the hotel, which was retained, is the spacious terraces attached to some of the most frequently-requested guestrooms and suites. These private, covered terraces offer guests a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the atmosphere of an American country home or in-town pied–à-terre. The terrace rooms on the 15th floor of The Madison are the perfect private viewing place to enjoy the city’s spectacular July 4th fireworks displays.
Coyne cited the architecture of Washington, D.C. as his main inspiration. Using warm tones of gray, brown and taupe in his color palette, the designer was also inspired by octagonal shapes in many of the interior accents, including the carpeting and area lobby rugs. Of special guest room interest is the use of gray and white toile wall coverings, replicas which covered walls in The White House decades earlier. The Federalist Restaurant, adjacent to The Madison, was also designed by Dominick Coyne. Influenced by vintage oak wood and a colorful blend of gray, taupe, black, and splashes of red, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
Guests can enjoy the comfort and convenience of the hotel’s PostScript Café and adjoining Lobby Bar. Designed to mirror the colors and textures in the main lobby, PostScript can offer a wide selection of panini, sandwiches, and light lunch and dinner for those with limited time to fit a meal into their schedule. At the Lobby Bar, the walls are covered by antique prints of historical figures and places, with two small oil paintings of President James Madison and his wife Dolley. The café is reminiscent of the cafes of Europe, offering classic barista specialties, pastries, and farm fresh products.
The Madison offers 12,000 square feet of function space. The rooms will be equipped with flat-screen plasma TVs, Bose speakers, ergonomic chairs and other state-of-the-art technology to accommodate meetings and events from large corporate gatherings to smaller board of directors meetings. The Madison has been the setting for lavish society weddings in one of its two beautiful ballrooms.
Included in the transformation are three Presidential suites, featuring custom made furnishings, kitchenettes, and approx. 2,000 sq ft of living space. These suites are of particular interest to many diplomatic delegates who choose to stay at The Madison.
During the transformation The Madison remained open. For information visit madisonhoteldc.com.