THE HISTORY OF THE GALT HOUSE HOTEL
The Galt House Hotel is a name long associated with gracious hospitality and Southern style. In the early 1800s, the original Galt House was a residence owned by Dr. W.C. Galt. In 1835, a 60 room hotel was opened as the Galt House and was located across the street from the residence at the northeast corner of First and Main. Some notable visitors include Stephen Douglas, Edwin Booth, Charles Dickens, P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb, and presidents Lincoln, Grant, Taylor, Hayes and Buchanan. In 1864, generals Grant and Sherman planned their military strategys at the Galt House. This strategy led to the capture of Atlanta.
In 1865, the hotel was destroyed by fire, but within weeks, noted architect R. Whitestone began plans and construction a block away from the original site, at First and Main. The project cost $1.5 million, an extraordinary sum considering the country was still recovering from the Civil War. The new Galt, which opened in 1869, featured eight steel beams weighing 118,000 pounds that supported its second floor Grand Ballroom. The guest list of the new Galt featured such notables as Sarah Bernhardt, the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, President Theodore Roosevelt, Diamond Jim Brady, President Chester A. Arthur, Lillian Russell, President Millard Fillmore and President William Howard Taft.
By the end of World War I, the Galt House was considered past its heyday. After being in continuous operation from 1835, through the fire, until 1919, it was razed in 1921. After 50 years, the fourth edition of the Galt House came into being. On November 5, 1971, the deal was closed to build a new Galt, House Hotel led by Al J. Schneider. The new Galt House RIVUE Tower opened in 1973, the SUITE Tower in 1985. The Suite Tower has one of the largest Geo Thermal heating and air conditioning systems in the world.
Upon Mr. Schneider's passing, a new board, and a new company president, daughter Mary Moseley brought a new vision to the future of the Al J Schneider Company, which is the parent company of the Galt House Hotel. The company as well owns the Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Hotel which is a 588 room hotel. The decision to make the over $100 million investment in the both hotels properties reflects the board's commitment to the city of Louisville and to the company.. The combination of both renovated hotels offers the city the ability to land major conventions with the capacity of of over 1,878 hotel rooms within the Galt House Hotel and Crowne Plaza Louisville, plus over 183,000 sq. ft of meeting space and each hotel is connected or across the street from additional meeting and exhibition space. Both hotels are primarily convention hotels.