Since a lot of people are going to be out shopping during the long Presidents Day weekend, scooping up new cars, new appliances and new mattresses, we decided to share something new with you, too. Namely the recently completed renovation of our Hotel George in Washington, D.C. How’s that for timely?
Named for everybody’s favorite first president (and not legendary Washington Redskins football coach George Allen), The George sits on Capitol Hill, surrounded by historic landmarks and American history. The building itself was constructed in 1928, and when The George opened 70 years later, it was D.C.’s first modern boutique hotel.
The 139-room hotel has been refreshed from top to bottom, completing a multimillion-dollar renovation by CBT, a Boston-based architecture and design firm specializing in integrating modern design with historic architecture. And nods to the hotel’s namesake are everywhere. From the graphic wallpaper adorned with George Washington’s handwritten inaugural address to custom artwork of Mount Vernon, the general’s beloved estate, to stylized portraits of George and his wife Martha, we cannot tell a lie … it’s pretty cool. Even the workspaces, with their nod to classic Colonial writing desks, get in on the Revolutionary act.
And so in honor of The George’s re-do and of the Presidents Day holiday — which actually celebrates George Washington’s birthday — we offer you 10 tidbits about one of our most immortal founding fathers (and none of them have anything to do with cherry trees or dentures).
• George Washington had no middle name.
• He did not have a college education.
• Barbados was the only foreign country he ever visited … and he managed to contract smallpox while he was there. He developed an immunity to the disease after that, surviving an epidemic that raged during the Revolutionary War. So thanks, Barbados.
• He would have been an excellent contestant on Dancing With the Stars: He loved to cut a rug and at 6-foot-2 he was a dashing figure at balls and cotillions.
• He was considered a great equestrian … even as Commander-in-Chief he trained his own horses.
• He lost more battles than he won.
• He didn’t wear a wig, as was the fashion of the time. He wore his hair pulled back into a powdered ponytail.
• He had a dog named Sweet Lips.
• He owned the largest distillery in the U.S.
• He was perhaps the richest American of his time and by some accounting the richest president of all time, with a modern worth of more than $500 million. Take that, FDR and JFK.