This Month in History: The Hotel Syracuse Opens to the Public

Hotel Syracuse Lobby

In September of 1924, the Hotel Syracuse opened to the public. Designed by George B. Post and Sons, and built at a cost of more than six million dollars, the building had everything that the nation’s leading hotel architects of the period could incorporate.

Some of the features included a coffee shop, drug store, beauty salon, barber shop, retail stores, over 600 guest rooms and a grand ballroom. From the outside, the three towers, connected at the base, resembled classical columns. The Rainbow Lounge, named for the tubular lighting within the glass-block entrance, was added in 1937 following Prohibition. The Persian Terrace became one of the most elegant meeting and dining rooms and was home to weddings, proms, and family gatherings throughout the 20th century.

Child movie star and Syracuse native Jackie Coogan was the first registered guest at the hotel. Numerous celebrities have visited the Hotel Syracuse over the decades including Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, aviator Charles Lindbergh, entertainers Bob Hope, Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, and John Lennon with Yoko Ono. The Hotel Syracuse reopened in 2016 after years of attempts of bringing back Syracuse’s grand dame.

–Daniel Connors of the Onondaga Historical Association