Brown- The Color of Presidental History

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Bailey Cross writes, Built in 1892 and named after it’s builder…

Built in 1892 and named after it’s builder, Henry Curtis Brown, the Brown Palace has a colorful history along with many little-known stories of presidential stays that I learned all about on a recent “Presidential Tour” of the Brown Palace led by our tour guide Robert Dran. The idea of the Brown palace came to be when Henry Curtis Brown, his wife, and his two year-old son moved out west to find their fortune in gold. While in Colorado, Mrs. Brown looked up at the mountains that the family would have to cross to get to California and decided that she was just fine staying in Colorado. Eventually the Brown’s purchased 160 acres of land that is now the heart of Denver, including the land that the state capitol stands. Legend has it that when Mr. Brown visited the Widnsor hotel, the doorman would not let him in because of his ragged appearance. Wanting to get back at the Windsor Hotel for his poor treatment, Henry Curtis Brown built the Brown Palace. The Brown Palace Hotel first opened it’s doors to guests on August 12, 1892 and has welcomed every single president since Teddy Roosevelt with the exception of Calvin Coolidge. When Teddy Roosevelt first visited, many people were disappointed. After spending over $2,000 on flowers, blocking off the top three floors and brining in over 300 secret service men for the president, Roosevelt did not spend the night. When President Taft first entered the Brown Palace, he instantly fell in love with the beautiful lobby, spending five minutes admiring it each time he passed. During the Eisenhower campaign, President Eisenhower used the Brown Palace hotel as the campaign headquarters. Many people at the time thought that the building would collapse under all of the weight of Eisenhower’s staff, but were reassured when they learned that Brown Palace was the first building in Denver made with steel. During Eisenhower’s long stay, he would golf in his suite- and we’re talking full-power-swing golfing against the fireplace mantel. Because of all of the balls hitting the mantel, there are dents that can still be seen today. As years passed, more and more presidents came to stay. Now-a-days, the three Presidential suites are named for the three presidents that stayed the most; the Eisenhower Suite, the Reagan Suite, and the Teddy Roosevelt Suite. The Former President Bill and Hillary Clinton will enjoy their time in Colorado when they stay at the Brown Palace for the DNC. Because all of the suites are named after Republicans, the Eisenhower Suite will be renamed the Obama Suite during the Democratic National Convention. To schedule a tour of your own to learn more about the Brown Palace Hotel or to book a room, go to www.brownpalace.com.

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