We're staying at the MarQueen
, a boutique hotel in Seattle. I don't know what a 'boutique hotel' is, but this is a great place to stay. The reception desk told us that the building was originally built to house workers for Ford Motor. There is an air of industrial utopianism about the place. Downstairs is a good sized lobby (although nothing in size compared to the cavernous lobbies of today's big hotels.) Our room is huge, with old wooden floors and a big four poster. We stayed downtown for two days before moving out to this hotel (when I made our hotel plans, we didn't exactly know what we wanted to do, so plans were loose) and there our room was downtown tiny and the bathroom, which had clearly been added long after the building was constructed, was so tiny that when you sat on the toilet your knees touched the wall. There's a little kitchen and a table with room for two. Floors are worn, ceilings are high, hallways are wide. The place feels used but impeccably clean.
I can imagine this all as part of Henry Ford's vision--temperance, hard work, decent but not ostentatious living conditions. Sundays at church. And then I imagine the people who lived there--men? Women? Busily persuing their own agendas which may not have been so temperate or so pure. I wonder if there was a curfew, and if there were people sneaking up and down the staircases. The little apartments seem small for a family, although I imagine that the boarders had roommates...
I recommend it, although there are no elevators, so if your room is on the second or third floor, you need to be able to handle steps. The stairs are grand--turn of the century wallpaper, a great central stair that splits left and right into two staircases. This being Seattle, most of the time we have the windows open, and the gauzy white curtains bell in the breeze.
And of course, you can't throw a brick in this town without hitting a coffee shop.