The Galt House Hotel – Louisville, KY
The Galt House Hotel is a name long associated with gracious hospitality and Southern style. In the early 1800s, the original Galt House was a residence owned by Dr. W.C. Galt. In 1835, a 60-room hotel was opened as the Galt House and was located across the street from the residence at the northeast corner of First and Main. Some notable visitors include Stephen Douglas, Edwin Booth, Charles Dickens, P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb, and presidents Lincoln, Grant, Taylor, Hayes and Buchanan. In 1864, generals Grant and Sherman planned their military strategies at the Galt House. This strategy led to the capture of Atlanta. In 1865, the hotel was destroyed by fire, but within weeks, noted architect R. Whitestone began plans and construction a block away from the original site, at First and Main. The project cost $1.5 million, an extraordinary sum considering the country was still recovering from the Civil War. The new Galt, which opened in 1869, featured eight steel beams weighing 118,000 pounds that supported its second floor Grand Ballroom. The guest list of the new Galt featured such notables as Sarah Bernhardt, the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, President Theodore Roosevelt, Diamond Jim Brady, President Chester A. Arthur, Lillian Russell, President Millard Fillmore and President William Howard Taft.