PURPLE TREE, Washington DC







It was located in the Manger Hamilton, a hotel at 14th and K. This page, devoted to the Hamilton, notes that the building was "purchased by Maddux, Marshall, Moss & Mallory, Inc., in May 1927." With all those Ms it was inevitable that the Manger chain would enter the picture; they bought it in 1950 and gave it a modern look. Alas:

No longer a posh destination, it became a “middle income” hotel, catering to tourists and businessmen. The elegant Rainbow Room became the Purple Tree cocktail lounge. In the 1960s, adult bookstores, strip joints and X-rated theaters began to fill 14th Street, which in earlier decades had been a fashionable entertainment district. Prostitutes worked Franklin Square, no longer a safe place to stroll and enjoy the scenery.

Quite so. The card above has a 1969 date, and says it's the Purple Tree Lounge. This confused me for a few years, until I found the card on the left. At some point they painted it and redid the chairs, but they kept the name. The sign was probably too expensive to replace. Too many machbooks and napkins to replace.

It's a hotel again today, a historic landmark as well.