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Doing the TownThe Rise of Urban Tourism in the United States, 1850-1915$
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Catherine Cocks

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520227460

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520227460.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

At Home in the City: First-Class Urban Hotels, 1850–1915

At Home in the City: First-Class Urban Hotels, 1850–1915

Chapter:
(p.70) Three At Home in the City: First-Class Urban Hotels, 1850–1915
Source:
Doing the Town
Author(s):

Catherine Cocks

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520227460.003.0004

This chapter explains that most Americans wealthy enough to travel for pleasure in the mid-nineteenth century stayed only at the best city hotels, for lodging at a “first-class” hostelry was “a strong presumption of social availability.” Where the traveler “stopped” while in the city signaled his or her social status to the local elite, many of whom resided semipermanently at such fine hotels. First-class city hotels undermined the sociospatial ideal that joined refinement and republicanism by providing the former for a fee. As their urbanity and commercialism became more apparent, their claim to contain a microcosm of the republic dissolved. Hotels created physical and social spaces not just open to transients but dedicated to them, and increasingly distinct from the spaces that locals used.

Keywords:   first-class hotels, sociospatial ideal, refinement, republicanism, urbanity, commercialism, microcosm

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