Saturday, January 01, 2005

History of Detroit's Pontchartrain Hotel

Detroit's Pontchartrain Hotel

The hotel that occupies the address
2 Washington Boulevard in Detroit sits on what most people consider the oldest French settlement in Detroit. Where the Pontchartrain now sits was where Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac - founder of Detroit - began construction of a fort on the river in 1701.

Fort Pontchartrain after the French government's Minister of the Colonies at the time - Jerome Phlypeaux, Compte de Pontchartrain - Cadillac called the area inside the fort Ville de Detroit, which means city or village of the straits. The original fort, which was bound by downtown Detroit's Washington Boulevard, Griswold, Larned and Atwater streets, served as a lookout facility to fend off the British and served the needs of the explorers and defenders of the French-occupied territory.

In 1760, the fort was taken by the British after the French's surrender in Montreal. The ownership of the land was then transferred into the hands of the United States in 1783 as a result of the Treaty of Paris.

The current occupant of the former fort's northwest corner is the Pontchartrain Hotel, aptly named to honor Detroit's first French Settlement. As a reminder of its roots, the lobby of the hotel features a plaque denoting the historical significance of the space.

The current hotel, built in 1963, contains 413 guest rooms and offers spectacular views of the Detroit River, as well as Windsor's skyline. The hotel's lobby, lounge and dining area were renovated in 2003.

More information on rates, as well as additional amenities for the Pontchartrain Hotel can be found on its website.