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The William Penn

A view of our hotel, the William Penn, across a plaza. This is a classic grand hotel, in the old style, and was one of the largest hotels in the world, when it was built. It was also one of the first with a bath in every room, and one of the very few featuring electric lighting. There have been as many as 1600 rooms in this hotel; but various remodelings, conversions to suites, and inclusoin of various business and conference centers has reduced this number to just under 600.

The main entrance of the William Penn is welcoming, and well staffed. This is a busy place, with cabs, cars, and foot traffic.

This is the first thing you see, upon entering the hotel. The lobby is magnificent, and the first impression given here is well validated by the service, appointments, and ggeneral opulance of the entire guest experience. For those of us used to motels, and modern chains, we owe to to oursleves to occasionally stay at one of the grand hotels.

A look at the entrance to the lobby, sunk below the level of the rest of the floor. Downstairs is a conference center.

The lobby of the William Penn speaks volumes about the expectations of travelers, from days gone by.

This place is in the heart of the busy downtown area. A look down the street shows Kaufman’s, a rare survivor from the age of department stores. Other shopping, businesses, and services fill the densely packed area. In Pittsburgh’s downtown, you are never more than a few blocks from just about anything.

A look down the street, from a different entrance, towards the railroad station. We are looking at the U.S. Steel Tower, or at least at it’s first few floors, off to the right of the photo.

This is a 24-hour, full service hotel. We arrived at around four in the morning, to find the place completely staffed.

This is the foyer of the twelfth floor, in which our rooms were housed.

The hallways leading to some of the nearly six hundred rooms in the hotel.

The rooms are, as would be expected, large elegant, and well appointed. No photographs were taken of the marble bathroom. If you want to see it, you will just have to stay here.

The beds have feather comforters, and are large, offering a selection of pillows. Were it not for the great city, just outside the hotel, it would be hard to leave such a room.

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