Being interested in the subject, I decided to do a pictorial analysis of the Age of Grand Hotels in the context of Disney’s resorts (both DLR & Worldwide).
Quick history: During late 19th & early 20th centuries (1880s-1930s) a number of social, political & economic forces (e.g., new innovations/technologies, relative stability in our hemisphere, vast natural resource exploitation, influx immigrant workforce, etc.) combined to catapult the U.S.A. into its Golden Age of wealth and ambition. This rise to power was reflected in our cities and architecture, including the grand hotels, mountain lodges and seaside resorts which became increasingly spectacular.
Disney, in its wisdom, began to build its own grand hotels and among its most successful were those that emulated America’s Golden Age. Some examples:
Ahwahnee Hotel (built 1927), Yosemite National Park
Old Faithful Inn (built 1903), Yellowstone National Park
Hotel del Coronado (built 1887), San Diego
New Ocean House (built 1884, burned down 1969) Swampscott, MA
Newport Bay Club
Chinese Consulate, NYC (built 198?)
Newly-skinned Disneyland Hotel
Hotel above MassPike, Newton MA (built (197?)
Paradise Pier Hotel (aka The Emerald Hotel built in 1984 by a Japanese company]
Alright, so the last two are tongue-in-cheek, but the point I'm illustrating is the move from the sublime to the ridiculous. While I know and understand that - for business reasons - current Disney management won't demo these two insipid structures with their windowless concrete slab sides and build fitting themed resorts for their neighboring parks, I hope for a day when a newly built Paradise Pier Hotel and Disneyland Hotel may be influenced by the Grand Age: