The Washington Hilton Hotel might seem familiar if you’re well versed in political matters. To help jog your memory- I’d like to bring up the assignation attempt on the former President Ronald Regan which took place right outside the hotel’s northwest exit. The hotel was often referred to as the “Hinckley Hilton” coined after the man that tried to murder Regan. Perhaps an easier transition into the introduction of the hotel could have been to mention the annual dinners of the White House Correspondents that is hosted by the hotel each year.
This luxury hotel’s design has been adapted to be purposeful to Washington. It’s location on Connecticut N.W makes it a widely accessible area for the business world to attend events in the Center of the city with ease. The Washington Hilton Hotel has maintained a simple exterior with detailed large extravagant ballrooms and conference halls to perhaps cater to a limited professional clientele. This was a conscious choice made by its architect William B Tabler to provide a space for prominent figures to discuss matters in privacy. He was able to achieve a hotel with extensive facilities directed towards the corporate world with the help of Uris Buildings Corporations.
Though the primary focus of the hotel is to accommodate the requirements of the business world, it has also witnessed large musical evening gatherings in the form of concerts in its ballroom consisting of artists like Jimi Hendrix and The Door in 1960’s and 70’s. All Hilton’s hotels have a reputation to maintain as its vital for the company’s imagine to remain pristine. The Washington Hilton’s worst nightmares came true when the former President was shot right outside its gates.
Even though the hotel and its staff had no role in the assassination attempt of Ronald Regan, the Washington Hilton Hotel’s name spread through our news very quickly. There were efforts made to distance themselves from the assassination attempt however they proved futile. No amount of damage control image making could erase the horrors and paranoia that the people began to attach to the hotel. In an effort to re-brand the hotel’s name was changed to Hilton Washington in 1998 in hopes of a revival of the prestige the hotel once had. Overtime the memories of the assassination faded and people began to look past the tragic incident that had taken place. Later the Hilton Hotel was purchased by Magic Johnson- a basketball player and renovated for 150 million dollars. Eventually business was back up on its feet however it never regained the full success it once had.