The Sheraton-Town House, a 14-story hotel on the edge of Lafayette Park that drew a host of stars and celebrities to its famed Zebra Room throughout the 1950s, will close Feb. 28.
"Business is poor," said Gerald Bahouth, the hotel's executive assistant manager. The hotel industry has been particularly hard hit by the recession and the neighborhood around the hotel has lost its luster, he said.
The hotel will remain closed indefinitely while Sheraton considers its options, Bahouth said. "It's just a sad thing that's happening," he said. "There are just a lot of factors involved."
Bahouth said the hotel is trying to help its 130 employees find jobs at other hotels.
Opened in 1929 as the Town House apartments, the building was bought in 1942 by Conrad Hilton, who turned it into a hotel. Elizabeth Taylor and Hilton's son, Nicky, were married in the hotel gardens in 1950.
Hilton sold the hotel in 1954 to the Sheraton Corp., which renovated it, creating the Zebra Room where celebrities such as Bing Crosby, Tallulah Bankhead, Henry Ford, Gina Lollabrigida and Howard Hughes mingled. For a time, Hughes rented a suite on the top floor.