About the McLure Hotel
If these walls could talk is often the expression used at the McLure Hotel. With so much history within these walls one can almost hear the lively voices of the past as soon as you enter the spectacular McLure Hotel. Constructed in 1851 and opened in 1852, the Mclure Hotel has been a mainstay of the city of Wheeling and has been the scene of several events that shaped this great country.
At one point, the McLure Hotel was the largest hotel in the state with 315 rooms, 65 bathrooms and 50 showers. Over the years, there have been many changes within the hotel. Originally built in a circular shape, the hotel contained a watering trough and hitching posts for horses and carriages. The registration desks and offices were located on the second floor due to the muddy mess that was made in the open lobby. Mostly busy Monday through Thursday due to the business travelers arriving from Pittsburgh and returning home at the end of the week, this would have been a most intriguing spectacle as the business men walked and slept amongst horses.
E.M. Statler, founder of Statler Hotels, a chain of hotels bought out by Hilton Conrad, once was an employee of the McLure Hotel. He started out as a bell-boy and eventually worked his way up to manager. After gaining the attention of a few very prominent businessmen in Wheeling, Statler finally raised the money to begin his endeavor. Since that time, the McLure has hosted several dignitaries and entertainers that remain the most famous or infamous of their times. Dignitaries who have stayed at the Mclure include General Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and many of their first ladies. In fact, had it not been for the raid on Harper's Ferry Abraham Lincoln might have made his inaugural speech at the McLure Hotel.
During the civil war, the McLure was host to several generals and served as headquarters for the Union General Willam Gosecrans. In fact, rumor has it that West Virginia's founding fathers ventured to the McLure for refreshment when they needed a break from dealing with the issues of statehood.
As the years passed, many more of America's movers and shakers came and went from inside the walls of the McLure. Senator Joseph McCarthy delivered his famous McCarthyism Speech. It was also in Wheeling where Dwight D. Eisenhower met with Richard Nixon to reinstate him as his running mate for the 1952 campaign. The long list could go on for days.
The McLure Hotel has had its share of historic events, however it has also had its share of renovations. Starting with the first addition of 90 rooms in 1910, the structure has been ever changing. In 1978, a $10 million renovation plan had been launched and finally gave the McLure the exterior look it has today. Phase I, completed in 1981, was a six level, 220 car garage. Work transforming the 133 year old hotel into one of the area's most modern hotels and meeting centers of its time was completed in early 1985.
Today, we still have the occasional senator or blues star stop by to give back to the city of Wheeling and the McLure Hotel. Now with 172 rooms and 30 additional apartments we can accommodate the largest groups for events, festivals, weddings, or even the occasional casino patron. The hotel is more charming with our grand staircase and the McLure staff is just as welcoming. At the McLure Hotel we will continue to satisfy our guests as long as we have this beautiful town to share with future travelers. We welcome you to experience the past and present with us at the McLure Hotel.