The Capital Hotel
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The Capital Hotel, a cherished landmark in Little Rock, Arkansas, was born in the post-Civil War days of the city. After a tragic fire destroyed the Metropolitan Hotel, the Arkansas Gazette proclaimed, in December 1876, the need for a “First Class Hotel.”
Acting quickly, Colonel A.G. DeShon and Major John D. Adams leased the Denckla Office and Merchants building and converted it into the Capital Hotel. Already having one of the finest exterior edifices in the South, Colonel DeShon refurnished the interior of the building to match the grand facade.
Every room was covered with finely appointed carpets and equipped with gas lighting. An electrical signaling device enabled each guest to request individual room service by merely pushing a button. The Capital provided its guests with a restaurant, bar, barber shop, and billiard hall.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Capitol Hotel is adorned by an elaborate ornamental cast-iron facade. At the turn of the century, the hotel served as an oasis for weary travelers coming to the capital city.
For more than half a century after it opened its doors, the Capital Hotel has served numerous purposes. It was a leading hotel in Arkansas, and it served as the de facto political headquarters for the entire state.
The hotel was just down the block from the state capitol, the historic Old Arkansas State House, where the state government met. It was here, inside the walls of the Capital Hotel, that the success or failure of many a would-be statesman was determined.
In the latter part of the 1800s, the Capital Hotel was in the hub of Little Rock's commerce district. As it was near both the railway depot and the river port, the Capital was a regular stopping point for the electric trolleys and horse-drawn buggies bringing guests to relax in the hotel's elegant surroundings.
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