History
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History

Our name is synonymous with the country's biggest political scandal. The Watergate Hotel, however, was controversial from the start. When it opened in 1965, celebrity Italian architect Luigi Moretti's curvy, sprawling design sent shock waves through conservative DC. Despite criticism, the hotel quickly became a playground for the fabulous. Actors and models hobnobbed with congressmen and the Supreme Court Justices who lived in the Watergate apartments. Its glamorous reputation was eclipsed with political scandal on June 17, 1972, when five intruders were caught in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, leading to Richard Nixon’s resignation.

Since Nixon infamously declared "I am not a crook," The Watergate Hotel has been renovated time and again, but no one embraced its original design or posh patrons. Until now. We have arrived at the hotel's newest chapter. Moretti disciple Ron Arad has restored The Watergate Hotel with a dramatic undulating copper lobby and lush, mid-century modern furniture. Our staff is poised to create a memorable experience for every guest.

1961

1961

When Italian architect Luigi Moretti first unveiled his design for the Watergate Complex, devotees of Washington's neoclassical architecture declared the bold design blasphemous and "as appropriate as a strip dancer performing at your grandmother's funeral."

1963

1963

Construction broke ground on the Watergate Complex in August

1965

1965

In October, Watergate East is the first building to open

1967

March 30, 1967

The Watergate Hotel opens and soon became the place for Washington elite and Hollywood royalty to mix and mingle

1967-1971

1967-1971

The following 4 buildings in The Watergate Complex open

June 17, 1972

June 17, 1972

Five men break into the DNC headquarters located on the 6th floor of the Watergate Office complex. The hotel's Room 214 is used as their home base, forever tying the Watergate name to the country's biggest political scandal

January 30, 1973

January 30, 1973

Tape 844 is recorded in the oval office.  Topics covered: Nixon and Kissinger's Time Magazine Men of the Year cover and press relations surrounding the Vietnam War and the timing of negotiations for the Soviet Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)

November 17, 1973

November 17, 1973

In a nationally television press conference, the infamous phrase "Well, I am not a crook" by U.S. President Richard was stated in defense and to stress that he never profited from his years of public service.

August 9, 1974

August 9 1974

Nixon was eventually implicated in The Watergate Scandal and resigned from office the following August.

Mid-80's – 2007

Mid-80's – 2007

The hotel had been bought and sold several times and underwent various renovations.

June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016

The Watergate Hotel re-opens its doors and once again welcomes guests.