This grand and lore-filled space began in 1893 as the Hotel Grunewald, the dream of German immigrant Louis Grunewald. It faced Baronne Street. In 1908 an annex was opened on the other side of the block.
Louis’ son, Theodore sold the complex in 1923. The new owners tore down and replaced the Baronne-facing building and renamed the hotel after Theodore Roosevelt. He was popular because his Panama Canal benefited the city’s economy. In 1934 the property was bought by a group led by Seymour Weiss, a friend of strongman Huey Long. Starting in 1935 the Blue Room swung to the likes of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey.
Huey Long moved in, residing in a 12th floor suite for a time. Long even had the Roosevelt’s bartender flown up to New York to teach bartenders at the New Yorker Hotel
(lobby shown here) how to make Ramos Gin Fizzes.
In 1965 Weiss sold to San Francisco’s Swig family. The hotel ran as a Fairmont until 2005 when it closed due to damage by Hurricane Katrina.
It was sold again in 2007, renovated. Its glory and its old name, Roosevelt, restored.