The Robert Treat Hotel, a Newark landmark, is celebrating its 96th anniversary. Original postcards from the era show the original décor and breakthrough architecture of the Robert Treat Hotel, as the historic hotel was erected in 1916. The Robert Treat Hotel remains an important Landmark of Newark's and New Jersey's history.
The Robert Treat Hotel was completed in 1916, in time for the arrival and stay of President Woodrow Wilson and Mrs. Wilson. They came to represent the national administration for the Newark Board of Trade annual dinner, as part of the 250th anniversary of the city of Newark.
The President stayed in a suite on the fifth floor of the Robert Treat Hotel, so that he and the First Lady would be far enough removed from the ground floor, while not being too far above ground.
Thereafter, this luxurious hotel room would be known as the "President's Suite". The United States Secret Service arrived a week in advance of the President to inspect every inch of the building and the President's suite.
Perhaps the most impressive structure of the original hotel was the lobby, where huge columns combined with intricate lighting features over a white marble steps, tile floors, and lavish rugs. There were plentiful lounge space, large palms and potted plants, and writing desks and tables on a balcony for afternoon tea.
The hotel was intended to make use of every luxury and technology available at the time in the hotel industry and would be the very first of its kind in the city of Newark.
The lobby would also include a profound portrait of Captain Robert Treat himself over the fireplace mantle, when he landed his ship in Newark and was greeted by an Indian.
The Robert Treat Hotel was named after Captain Robert Treat, the governor of Connecticut, who is also known as the founder of Newark, NJ. He was originally dispatched to purchase land for a new settlement in the area that is now Newark. However, he and his men arrived without the proper documentation, and the Indians refused to let them settle.
A conference was held to discuss, the negotiation of Newark's land with the Indians for every foot of land. It is with great pride in Newark's history and with its founder, Robert Treat, that one remembers a truly straightforward business transaction, carried out with as much honesty and candor as if the sellers had been experienced in such negotiations.
The land was sold in May 1666, but the deed of sale was not signed until July 11, 1667. The Indians received approximately $700 in exchange for most of the area that is now Essex County.
Soon after Newark's acquisition, Captain Robert Treat, a Puritan, established the Old First Church in Newark, a national historic landmark and a pillar of Newark's long and vibrant history.
In 1980, the Robert Treat Hotel became the first hotel in Newark to receive the honor of being added to the both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. This placed the Robert Treat Hotel among the 43 sites in Newark that had been added to the national Register, including the First National State Bank, the Krueger, Clark and Ballantine mansions, the Sacred Heart Cathedral and Old First Church.
The Robert Treat Hotel was purchased in 1987 by The Berger Organization, under the direction of company president Miles Berger.
The original lobby, which had been destroyed in a fire, was refurbished under Berger's direction. New air conditioning and high-speed elevators were installed. Altogether, a new look and feel for the historic hotel and landmark were planned and have today reached fruition.
Since The Berger Organization's purchase of the Robert Treat Hotel, the city of Newark has experienced great economic gains. Across Military Park from the hotel, one can see the grandeur and magnificence of New Jersey Performing Arts Center, a thriving theatrical center attracting not only Newark residents to its international performances, but also commuters from New York and elsewhere in New Jersey, and many a guest at the Robert Treat Hotel.
The Maize Restaurant, heralded by the New York Times and the Star Ledger as one of New Jersey's best dining experiences, has been added to the décor of the Robert Treat Hotel.
The Robert Treat Hotel has a long and extraordinary history, with its name dating back to the very first founding of Newark, one of the Unites States' oldest cities. The hotel itself has grown and revitalized with the city, and has been a triumphant landmark in the city of Newark.