The Providence Biltmore has completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its historic lobby and guest rooms, and other parts of the hotel.
Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay said the 1922 hotel has a prominent place in Rhode Island political history, including several stays by John F. Kennedy.
“Probably the most historic time he stayed there was just two days before his election as President,” said MacKay. “He spoke at a huge outdoor rally on the steps of city hall, which of course is next door to the hotel, and when he was assassinated in 1963, they renamed that area Kennedy Plaza.”
MacKay added that the hotel was immortalized in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman.
“In which the protagonist Willy Loman, is bragging about all the people that he meets, in his travels as a salesman, and sure enough, there’s a line in there that goes, ‘and I met the Mayor of Providence in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel.’”
The Biltmore famously played host to John F. Kennedy, just nights before his election as President.
The jazz-age Biltmore hotel shuttered its doors in the 1970s, but was reopened in the 1990s by a group of community business leaders. It’s now operated by the Hilton Company.
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