The Inside Scoop on the Biltmore Hotel

By: Ariel Finkle

Even though the Providence Biltmore Hotel is as much of a Rhode Island landmark as Independent Man, many students (including me) had never heard of it before receiving their invitation to prom this year. But have no fear, because this article intends to right that wrong. Here are five important things to know about this year’s prom venue (or at least five things to talk about at prom when there’s a lull in the conversation and you want to sound smart).


  1. The hotel is almost 100 years old.


The hotel, which first opened its doors on June 6th, 1922, is now 95 years old. (It will turn 96 this June.) This was the same year that the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated and the USSR was founded.


  1.            It was designed by the same architectural firm that designed Grand Central Station.

This firm was Warren & Wetmore, which designed the accommodations for the station’s electric trains in 1913.


  1.              It’s part of a chain.

The Bowman-Biltmore Hotels chain, founded by John McEntee Bowman in 1913, can still be found today in locations spread across the country, from Providence to Los Angeles.


  1.      It’s had many interesting features over the years.

These have included a rooftop vegetable garden (with chicken coops!), a swimming pool, and a skating rink.


  1. It may or may not be haunted.

Over the years, guests have reported strange noises and auras coming from the hotel. For instance, there have been late night noise reports of clinking glasses and stomping feet in seemingly empty ballrooms. Whatever your beliefs about ghosts are, stories like these make the hotel steeped in myth.


So there you have it: five tidbits about the Providence Biltmore Hotel, a building that’s more than just a party venue.


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