Now and a Long Time Ago: Union Hotel

Union Hotel

Last time on Now and Long Time Ago, GM visited the corner of 30th and M in the 1920s. Today he visits the same intersection but several decades earlier.

At the northeast corner once stood the Union Hotel. It was built in 1796. According to James Goode’s Capital Losses, at the time the Union Hotel was built it was the largest and most prestigious hotel in DC.

The hotel went through several design changes before it appeared as it does above. Reflecting the time period it was originally federal in style. After a fire in 1832 it was remodeled into the then popular Greek revival style. Finally in 1875 it took on the Second Empire style seen above.

Like many hotels in DC, it served as a temporary hospital in the Civil War. Louisa May Alcott served as a voluntary nurse there.

Sadly it was bulldozed in 1932 for a gas station, which itself only lasted a few decades before being replaced with the bank building that is there presently. GM would rather have the hotel, to be honest.


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