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Hotel Harrington, Oldest Continually Operating Hotel In D.C., To Close

After a nearly 110-year run, Washington’s oldest continuously operating hotel will reportedly close next month after its longtime family owners found a buyer for the historic property.

Hotel Harrington at 436 11th St. NW has been operating since 1914.

Hotel Harrington, which has been operating in the Penn Quarter since March 1, 1914, will host its last guest on Dec. 12, hotel employees were told at a staff meeting two weeks ago, Fox 5 first reported. Ground-floor bar Harry’s Pub, which became a hangout for the white nationalist group Proud Boys, will also reportedly shutter.

The 242-key hotel and ground-floor retail building is being sold, CoStar reported, citing confirmation from the hotel. The buyer wasn't named, but Eater DC reported in June that &Pizza owner Steve Salis was looking at purchasing the property. Salis declined to comment to Bisnow.

The sale wasn't posted in records with the D.C. Recorder of Deeds as of Monday afternoon, and the hotel's general manager, Ann Terry, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The property at 436 11th St. NW has been owned by the same family for its lifetime, most recently by Charles McCutcheon, the grandson of one of the co-founders, who died in 2020.

The hotel, which brands itself "Washington’s Tourist Hotel," is located a few blocks from the White House and near D.C. institutional landmarks like Ford’s Theater, the National Archives and the FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue.

A photo of Hotel Harrington taken between 1916 and 1917

DowntownDC BID President Gerren Price told Bisnow that he believes the site would be prime for residential development, pointing to Mayor Muriel Bowser's plan to add 15,000 residents and 7M SF of new residential space to downtown D.C. by 2030. 

"I'm hoping that there's a really creative and innovative developer, somebody who’s ready to purchase that site and turn it into something that will be really great for the community," he said.

A Harry’s Pub employee declined to comment Monday, and the other ground-floor tenants in the building, Harriet’s Family Restaurant and Ollie’s Trolley, couldn't be reached for comment.

Hotel Harrington has been a budget-friendly alternative to the Waldorf Astoria at the Old Post Office a few blocks down, which was converted after spending five years as the Trump International Hotel. Rooms at Hotel Harrington for this upcoming month range from $125 to $205, according to the hotel’s website, which as of Monday afternoon was allowing guests to stay until Dec. 12. 

D.C.’s hotel sector has recovered since the depths of the pandemic as tourism has rebounded. As of the spring, hotels downtown were performing at 90% to 110% of pre-pandemic levels, according to the DowntownDC BID. Downtown’s office market has posted a much more bleak 40% to 50% recovery.