Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown

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Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
Wyndham at Point State Park, Pittsburgh, 11 October, 2014.jpg
Hotel chain Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
General information
Address 600 Commonwealth Place, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
Opening December 3, 1959
Owner Kiran Patel[1]
Height 333 feet (101 m)
Technical details
Floor count 25
Design and construction
Architect William B. Tabler
Developer Conrad Hilton
Other information
Number of rooms 712[2]
Number of restaurants 1

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown (formerly the Hilton Pittsburgh) is a hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh, with a prominent position in the Golden Triangle area adjacent to Point State Park, the Fort Pitt Museum and the Cultural District. Hilton announced plans for the skyscraper hotel on June 11, 1956 and ground was broken for it on September 20, 1957 with Conrad Hilton himself in attendance. It was opened for business with a special gala on December 3, 1959 again attended by Mr. Hilton as well as Governor Lawrence.[3] The hotel is the city's largest with 712 rooms and over 40,000 square feet of conference facilities.[4][5]

History[edit]

For over 50 years the hotel, along with the Mellon Arena and the William Penn Hotel, was one of the key destinations for any distinguished visitor to the region. Among the significant events that the hotel hosted have been:

  • May 6–7, 1960: Presidential candidate Lyndon B. Johnson stays at the hotel and gives a major speech with mayor Joseph Barr in the ballrooom, while on a two-day campaign tour of the region.
  • November 4, 1960: President Dwight D. Eisenhower gives a major speech at the hotel.
  • January 19, 1964: The Pro Football Hall of Fame meeting with Art Rooney, Pete Rozelle, Dick McCann, Gov. Lawrence, Justice White, George Halas and Vince Lombardi all visiting.[6]
  • April 24, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson attends a campaign rally to over 2,000 in the hotel's ballroom and speaks at a League of Women Voters conference at the hotel.
  • October 6–7, 1970: Vice President Spiro Agnew gives a speech at the hotel and stays the night, amid 200 protestors clashing with police, 37 being arrested and a girl burning an American flag.
  • October 26, 1976: President Gerald Ford addresses the Economic Club Conference at the hotel.
  • April 1980: State AFL-CIO convention.[7]
  • September 4–5, 1980: George Bush gives several campaign speeches and stays the night, completing his address to the "World Affairs Council".
  • July 16–18, 1981: The 58th annual International Brotherhood of Magicians Convention is held at the hotel.
  • April 6, 1983: President Ronald Reagan delivers a major address at the "Conference of Dislocated Workers" in the ballroom.
  • March 27, 1984: Vice President Walter Mondale speaks at the AFL-CIO state convention.
  • April 18, 1996: Former President George H.W. Bush visits.[8]
  • August 5, 1996: The Democratic Party National Platform Convention is hosted by the hotel.[9]
  • August 5, 2002: President George W. Bush stays at the hotel as he meets with survivors of the Quecreek Mine Rescue, he also hosts a news conference as he signs an Anti-Abortion bill into law in the ballroom.
  • June 22–28, 2008: Airports Council International Annual Marketing Communications Conference.[10]
  • 1961-2006: The annual host of the region's Dapper Dan Sports Awards Banquet.

Hilton Hotels sold the hotel on May 22, 2006 to Shubh Hotels Pittsburgh LLC for $28 million.[11][12]

Bankruptcy and Changes[edit]

In the 2000s the hotel had increasing competition and subsequent financial problems, including a troubled $25 million expansion plan announced in 2007 that later saw the construction workers walk off the job site.[4][5][11][13][14] In 2010, Shubh Hotels fired the hotel management company, Crescent Hotels & Resorts, after a legal battle.[4] Prism Hotels & Resorts replaced Crescent.[4] In September 2010, Hilton Hotels & Resorts announced that they were terminating their franchise agreement with Shubh Hotels Pittsburgh LLC due to failed inspection grades.[11] The hotel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the holder of its mortgage foreclosed.[2][15] On November 23, 2010 the hotel officially became part of Wyndham Hotels, taking the name Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown.[16] Kiran Patel took over ownership on April 7, 2011 after a series of lawsuits were resolved.[1][11] Renovations were completed in January 2014 at a cost of $15 million. The additional 20,000 square foot added during the renovation includes three additional floors in the front of the hotel, swimming pool, and increased conference facilities.[2][15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Belko, Mark (May 13, 2011). "Florida doctor Kiran Patel new owner of former Hilton". Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Oravecz, John D. (April 12, 2014). "Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh turnaround complete, owner Patel says". Trib Total Media. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b c d Stouffer, Rick (September 2, 2010). "Hilton pulls its name from landmark Downtown hotel". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. 
  5. ^ a b Leonard, Kim (August 10, 2012). "Owner of Pennsylvania's 712-room Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Plans for October Completion of Long-Delayed Expansion Project". Hotel Online. The Pittsburgh Tribune. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  6. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=zcAbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_U4EAAAAIBAJ&dq=rooney%20hall%20of%20fame&pg=7333%2C3073990
  7. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=SackAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0m0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6894%2C1171022
  8. ^ http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittpressreleases;cc=pittpressreleases;xc=1;type=simple;q1=president%20bush;sort=occur;rgn=full%20text;view=image;seq=0001;idno=pittpressreleases19960053;didno=pittpressreleases19960053
  9. ^ http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/PlatformHeari
  10. ^ http://www.pitairport.com/Important_National_Airport_Industry_Meetings_Convening_in_Pittsburgh
  11. ^ a b c d Leonard, Kim (December 12, 2012). "Wyndham Grand's addition on target for March debut". Trib Total Media. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  12. ^ McCarty, Dawn (September 7, 2010). "Shubh Hotels Files for Bankruptcy After Hilton Pulls Pittsburgh License". Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Barcousky, Len (July 28, 2010). "Exterior work on Hilton Pittsburgh slated to resume". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  14. ^ Belko, Mark (September 2, 2010). "Hilton pulls its name from troubled Downtown hotel". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  15. ^ a b Belko, Mark (April 25, 2013). "Long-delayed addition nearly complete at Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown hotel". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  16. ^ Belser, Ann (November 24, 2010). "Downtown Hilton now a Wyndham Grand". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Hilton Pittsburgh at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Frick Building
Pittsburgh Skyscrapers by Height
333 feet (102 m)
23 floors
Succeeded by
Bell Telephone Building
Preceded by
Regional Enterprise Tower
Pittsburgh Skyscrapers by Year of Completion
1959
Succeeded by
Four Gateway Center