Winner, 2012 Sally Hacker Prize, Society for the History of Technology Hotel Dreams is a deeply researched and entertaining account of how the hotel's material world of machines and marble integrated into and shaped the society it served. Molly W. Berger offers a compelling history of the American hotel and how it captured the public's imagination as it came to represent the complex-and often contentious-relationship among luxury, economic development, and the ideals of a democratic society. Berger profiles the country's most prestigious hotels, including Boston's 1829 Tremont, San Francisco's world-famous Palace, and Chicago's enormous Stevens. The fascinating stories behind their design, construction, and marketing reveal in rich detail how these buildings became cultural symbols that shaped the urban landscape.
First Prize winner in the scholarly journals category of the American Association of Museums (AAM) publication competition for institutions with budgets over $500,000 This latest volume of the groundbreaking Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Artsexplores the material, social, and cultural world of the large American hotel. Ten richly illustrated essays look at the architects, designers, and social forces that created this distinctive and complex urban institution, from Gilded Age New York to 1950s Miami Beach. Broadly imagined and yet cohesively focused, the essays examine such major historical processes as consumption and modernism, and race, class, and gender. Topics include the lavish New York apartment hotels of Schultze and Weaver (the architects of the Waldorf-Astoria); the connection between hotels and mansions in the "rich man's city" of Gilded Age New York; the "bodacious" interior designs of Dorothy Draper; the flamboyant Miami Beach fantasies of Morris Lapidus; Henry Flagler's St. Augustine resorts; Atlantic City's old Traymore hotel; the social world of hotel chambermaids and clerks; the parallel world of African-American "pleasure travelers"; the trend toward efficiency and standardization; and the capitalist narrative of early-twentieth-century urban hotel demolitions.