Thursday, July 28, 2011

Enduring Traditions

1853 & 1884

When the Burnet House opened in Cincinnati in 1850, the London Illustrated News called it “the finest hotel in the world.” Located on the corner of Third and Vine Streets, the five-story building was designed by architect Isaiah Rogers, already well-known for Boston’s Tremont House (1827), New York’s Astor House (1836), and the Exchange Hotel (1841) in Richmond. Crowned by a dome forty-two feet in diameter, the hotel featured panoramic views of the Ohio River and the Kentucky hills. Large, ornate, and expensive, the Burnet House catered to a well-to-do clientele, as shown by two menus, one reflecting a passing social custom, the other reminiscent of a historic event for which the hotel would be long remembered.

Monday, July 11, 2011


New York City,

Although the word carnivore” is widely used to describe flesh-eaters, the obscure term zoophagy, meaning the eating of animals, may yet prove useful in modern society. Since zoophagy usually connotes the eating of exotic creatures, it certainly can be used to describe a banquet in 1905 at the Astor Hotel in New York, where a Bornean Rhinoceros from the Berlin Zoo was served as the main course.