Thayer Hotel


Photograph of the Thayer Hotel, circa 1934.

Rear of the Thayer Hotel, circa 1934.

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Modern image of the Thayer Hotel.

The front of the Thayer Hotel in 2023.

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Known Name(s)

Thayer Hotel

Address

West Point Orange, NY (Primary) (1963, 1964, 1966)
(674 Thayer Rd West Point, NY) (Secondary)

Establishment Type(s)

Hotel

Physical Status

Extant

Description

The property has undergone numerous renovations in recent years, and documentation of the site before the renovations do not make clear distinctions of which renovations occurred after the Green Book period. As it stands today, the Thayer is a commercial building in a military/academic district, located adjacent to the Hudson River. The Thayer has a masonry foundation with stone masonry walls near the entrances, extending one story high on the side facing the road and two stories on the rear face. The rest of the building is Flemish bond brickwork. The primary entrance is framed by two pointed limestone arches, creating a stone fa├žade with the West Point academy insignia displayed above the arches. Stone quoins run up the sides of the building’s original towers. Each of the four floors of accommodations has five pairs of double-hung sash windows on the entrance side. The top of the hotel features limestone battlements, although it is unclear whether they are primarily for ornamentation or contribute to the site’s larger function military function.

Detailed History

The Thayer Hotel was constructed in 1926, on orders of General Douglas MacArthur, the then-superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The hotel opened later that year and replaced the West Point Hotel as the primary guest accommodation site on West Point's campus. The hotel has hosted a large number of significant political and military figures from U.S. and world history, but primarily functions as lodging for family members of students at West Point. African American students were legally allowed to enroll at West Point beginning in 1870, but very few did so until World War II. After Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the fourth African American cadet to graduate from West Point, led the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII, nationwide awareness of Black American soldiers contributed to an increase in enrollment of African Americans at West Point. West Point, and the Thayer included as part of the campus, was named as part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 2009, the building was completely renovated, with a new wing of executive suites added in 2012. All of the rooms and spaces at the Thayer today are named after prominent Americans who were involved in West Point's history.

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