Jefferson Hotel (Richmond, Virginia)
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Jefferson Hotel
Jefferson Hotel Richmond VA.jpg
The historic Jefferson Hotel in downtown Richmond
General information
Location 101 W Franklin St., Richmond, Virginia, USA, 23220[1]
Coordinates 37°32?39.42?N 77°26?43.09?W / 37.5442833°N 77.4453028°W / 37.5442833; -77.4453028Coordinates: 37°32?39.42?N 77°26?43.09?W / 37.5442833°N 77.4453028°W / 37.5442833; -77.4453028
Opening October 31, 1895
Owner CCA Financial[2]
Technical details
Floor count 6
Other information
Number of rooms 166
Number of suites 15
Number of restaurants 2
Parking on-site valet and self parking
Jefferson Hotel
Jefferson Hotel (Richmond, Virginia) is located in Virginia
Jefferson Hotel (Richmond, Virginia)
Jefferson Hotel (Richmond, Virginia) is located in the US
Jefferson Hotel (Richmond, Virginia)
Location 104 W. Main St., Richmond, Virginia
Coordinates 37°32?39?N 77°26?44?W / 37.54417°N 77.44556°W / 37.54417; -77.44556
Area 1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
Built 1895
Architectural style Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements
NRHP reference # 69000351[3]
VLR # 127-0001
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 4, 1969
Designated VLR November 5, 1968[4]

The Jefferson Hotel is a luxury hotel in Richmond, Virginia, opened in 1895. In 1969,[5] it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fully restored and upgraded, the Jefferson is one of 52 American hotels with Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Hotel ratings. The Jefferson Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[6] On site is "Lemaire," a AAA "Four Diamond" restaurant, named after Etienne Lemaire, who served as maitre d'hotel to Thomas Jefferson from 1794 through the end of his presidency.


Tobacco baron Lewis Ginter planned the development of the hotel as a premier property in the city of Richmond, capital of the state. It was designed in the Spanish Baroque Style by Carrère and Hastings, noted national architects based in New York, who later designed the New York Public Library. Construction began in 1892 and the hotel opened for business on October 31, 1895.[7] After a fire gutted the interior of the hotel in 1901, it had a lengthy restoration. It reopened in 1907. It has received restorations and upgrades of systems through the years.

Patrons have included thirteen United States presidents, writers, and celebrities, including Henry James, Charles Lindbergh, The Rolling Stones, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, and Anthony Hopkins.[8].

Alligators in the lobby

In his autobiography The Moon's A Balloon (1972), Academy Award-winning actor David Niven described a trip from New York to Florida in the late 1930s, during which he decided to spend the night at the Jefferson Hotel. Niven said that, as he was signing the guest registry in the lobby, his eyes snapped open with amazement when he noticed a full-sized alligator swimming in a small pool located six feet from the reception desk.[9] The alligators at the Jefferson became world-famous. Old Pompey, the last alligator living in the marble pools of the Jefferson's Palm Court, survived until 1948.[10] Bronze statues of the alligators now decorate the hotel. Its restaurant, Lemaire, has a theme of alligator motifs.[11]

In culture

Local urban legend has it that tap dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who became a national sensation, was discovered while working as a bellhop at the hotel. This is not likely. When the Jefferson Hotel opened in 1895, Robinson (then 16) was already touring with traveling shows on the black theater circuit.[]

Another urban legend is that the grand staircase was featured in the film Gone with the Wind (1939). This is not true. But, according to the hotel's concierge, author Margaret Mitchell stayed at the Jefferson during the time she was writing the novel. Her description of the staircase is said[by whom?] to be inspired by the one in the hotel.[]

The 1981 American film My Dinner with Andre, featuring Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, was shot entirely inside the hotel and its restaurant.[12]


  1. ^ "Jefferson Hotel by AreaG2". AreaG2, Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ "Affiliated Companies". CCA Financial. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hotel Jefferson National Register Nomination" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Hotel Jefferson, a Historic Hotels of America member". Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ ""Henry James as Landlord", The Atlantic Retrieved on July 10, 2009.
  9. ^ Niven, David. "The Moon's a Balloon." (1972, Putnam Publishing) ISBN 0-399-10557-3
  10. ^ "Jefferson Hotel: History Archived 2010-09-25 at the Wayback Machine.." Jefferson Hotel. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  11. ^ "Lemaire Fact Sheet [Press Release]" (PDF). Lemaire Restaurant. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 2012. 
  12. ^

Further reading

  • The Jefferson, Richmond, Virginia, Baltimore: Press of A. Hoen & Co., c. 1890s  (Promotional brochure)
  • Paul N. Herbert, The Jefferson Hotel: The History of a Richmond Landmark, The History Press, 2012.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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