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Hotel Monticello to Become The Graham Georgetown

February 20, 2013

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."  

Alexander Graham Bell

After a multi-million dollar makeover, look for Hotel Monticello to reopen in April as The Graham Georgetown. That makes two Georgetown buildings named after the inventor of the telephone. Bell's art deco Volta Laboratory and Bureau (now known as the Georgetown Heating Plant) is currently being sold.

Graphic representation of unnamed indoor cocktail lounge (Photo by: The Graham Georgetown) Graphic representation of unnamed indoor cocktail lounge

Florida-based Mast Capital acquired the property in November 2011. CEO Camilo Miguel Jr. explained his company's interest, "DC is one of the most exclusive hospitality markets in the country. It's a rare acquisition opportunity, and Georgetown in particular has extremely high barriers to entry." He added, "The cultural climate of historic Georgetown also proved inspiring. The people, the energy and the sophistication of the clientele all contribute to the uniqueness of this location."

Graphic representation of the Obeservatory roof-top lounge (Photo by: The Graham Georgetown) Graphic representation of the Obeservatory roof-top lounge

The hotel will feature a 3,000 square-foot rooftop bar called The Observatory, a 1,000 square-foot cocktail lounge and in-room dining. Hotel Monticello did not have a restaurant or room service.

From the rooftop, guests will have a panaoramic view of Georgetown, the Waterfront, Kennedy Center and Washington Monument.

Graphic representation of a refurbished suite (Photo by: The Graham Georgetown) Graphic representation of a refurbished suite

The seven-floor hotel will include 30 guest rooms and 27 suites (Monticello had 38 guest quarters) "decorated with chromatic accents and cozy, modern furnishings. In the oversized suite bathrooms, guests will bask in classical lighting amidst white marble and stone-tile mosaic decor. Dark wood vanities, fine Bvlgari products, and plush robes and slippers complete the spa-like experience."

Another amenity not offered by Hotel Monticello: a 24-hour fitness center.

The Graham Georgetown is located at 1075 Thomas Jefferson Street. Tel: 202.337.0900.

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Add Billy Reid to Fashion Retailers Flocking to Georgetown

February 18, 2013

Last year saw the arrival of Dutch-based Suitsupply for men, Spanish designer Massimo Dutti and Muleh. In 2011, Georgetown welcomed J. Crew's Madewell, Jack Wills, Rag & Bone, Jack Spade, Calvin Klein Underwear, Athleta, and Brook Brothers.

(Photo by: billyreid.com)

On the heels of the announcement by Frye Boot Company that they'll be opening later this year (in the historic firehouse where Papa-Razzi Restaurant operated) comes news that Alabama-based American fashion designer, Billy Reid, known for "low-fi Southern-bred luxury" will soon be taking over Uno Chicago Grill's spot at 3211 M Street.

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GTC Hosts Learning Lunch on Design Legacy of Jacobsen Architecture

February 6, 2013

February 6, 2013 at The George Town Club (Photo by: Judith Beermann) February 6, 2013 at The George Town Club

Seems fitting that in the same spot where Capital architect Pierre L'Enfant discussed plans for this Federal City that Simon Jacobsen should dazzle 40 well-heeled Georgetowners with images and recollections of Jacobsen Architecture's 50-year quintessentially American (modern) history.

As evidenced by last week's 'Relaunch Party,' the historic The George Town Club (GTC) has truly begun a new era.

Elizabeth Miller listening to Simon Jacobsen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Elizabeth Miller listening to Simon Jacobsen

While firm's founder (and father) Hugh Jacobsen was feeling under the weather, son regaled the crowd following a glowing  introduction by Elizabeth Miller. "We plan to reinvogorate The Club ... I know we can do it ... with the talent pool in DC!" Elizabeth reocgnized Bo Blair (updated menu) and Andrew Law (design interior) for their commitment to transforming The Club, starting with this new series of lectures.

Ruth and Simon Jacobsen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Ruth and Simon Jacobsen

"I'd like to thank the Academy ... " began Simon, "and my wife Ruth for taking care of home and family, while I'm spreading architectural joy and fabrics around the world."

"My father was transformed from a beer-drinking surfer artist into one of the greatest architects of the 20th century," Simon continued. Jacobsen Architecture is a "very specialized firm with 12 people and between 15-28 projects at one time."

Andrew Law with Amy Kuhnert and Janice Day (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Andrew Law with Amy Kuhnert and Janice Day

"We start from the floor plan out, turning plans into three dimensions ... often with a collection of little buildings." One of the firm's signature design features, those white pavilions, provide an aesthetically spare clue to what's inside. "We design all the furniture inside too," he explained.

Recently launching a partnership with Georgetown-based ARCHER, Simon showed examples of custom client furniture now available through the The Jacobsen Collection. From beds to sofa tables to seating and Halo chandeliers ... all their furniture is made in the USA.

Boxwood Winery cave (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Boxwood Winery cave

"We set furniture on their own islands of carpet," another iconic feature of Jacobsen's light-flooded rooms with and "egg crate bookcases which can be modified for shoes, salt shakers or firearms ... and wine," as Simon took the guests through a virtual tour of Boxwood Winery in Middleburg, VA.

Robert Lautmen 1923-2009 (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Robert Lautmen 1923-2009

And with all the whiteness of the interiors, the bookcases (when filled with books) "are turned into a wall of color."

Other signatures of the Jacobsen design ethos: custom millwork, floor-to-ceiling entrances, no baseboards, no visible gutters, and "ever mindful of the vicar, bar areas easily closed off."

Ending the talk with a poignant homage to Hugh's life-long friend and Jacobsen Architecture's "symbiotic partnership with one of the greatest architectural photographers, the late Robert Lautman," Simon graciously thanked Lautman for so eloquently capturing the essense of Jacobsen architecture.

Jacobsen white pavilions (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jacobsen white pavilions

For membership information, visit The George Town Club or email membership@georgetownclub.org.

Betsy Rackley, Ruth Jacobsen, Simon Jacobsen and Colman Riddell (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Betsy Rackley, Ruth Jacobsen, Simon Jacobsen and Colman Riddell

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