Lost interiors: Inside Lords Hotel for the last time
I managed to capture the final moments of Lord’s Hotel this afternoon. The gradual destruction of this 1950s landmark is almost complete. Luckily, I took some pictures last month and was able to compare some of these to a wonderful archive I was given access to by researcher Camille Tarazi, who saw my previous post and forwarded me a 1956 article about Lord’s in La Revue du Liban magazine.
Elder residents eyes light up when asked about the place, describing it as one of the finest in the area, known for attracting tourists both from the West and the Arab countries.
Today, only one room remains:
But when I was here in December, I managed to get some shots of the vintage overhang:
At the time, the entrances were sealed with breeze blocks:
But there were still some holes…
Revealing glimpses of the past:
I reached over the wall and found a larger opening:
Could these equally-spaced holes on the left be the shelves of the old bar?
I could also could see a hallway area:
Could it have been part of the old lobby?
According to the 1956 Revue du Liban article, Lord’s was known for its modern art and matching furniture:
I made it over to another sealed off section….
And found this mural through the cracks:
And got a better view through another opening:
I wonder who painted it? Just left of the painting, there were other parts of the lobby, marked by pink marble columns:
The 1956 Revue article makes note of decorative paneling and wallpaper throughout. From another hole, I found some remnants of those panels:
And the wallpaper:
I wonder if these were similar to those used in the the dining rooms?
Back in December, I managed to get around the back side of the hotel, where a large tree was growing:
When I walked beneath it, I could see the vintage bubble balconies:
As well as a hidden atrium section:
The windows had been bolted shut:
None of this remains today…
Amid the rubble are chunks of the blue tile facade:
The walls seem to have been made of archaic sandstone:
Sandstone construction is supposedly one of the criteria for preserving a building. So why wasn’t Lord’s Hotel saved?
And how many more will be lost before parliament and the public begin mobilizing to save what’s left?
Attached are the original pages discovered by Camille at Saint Joseph University’s “Bibliotheque Orientale.”
Among other things, they discuss special Thursday candlelight dinners, “happy” ladies at the bar, and receptionists trained at France’s Grenoble Hotel School: