Loraine Hotel
123 W. Washington Ave.     Built 1923-1925     Madison Landmark     National Register     Tudor Revival     Herbert W. Tullgren
At one time the Loraine was the best and busiest hotel in the city.

From the 1920s through the 1960s, the Loraine, along with being a 400-room hotel, it was maybe the best Madison place to hang out and people watch.

Some who stayed in the Loraine: Mae West, Gloria Swanson, Ethel Barrymore, Dwight Eisenhower, Adlai Stevenson, Eleanor Roosevelt.

John F. Kennedy checked in for only a couple of hours in October 1960 before a campaign speech at the Field House.

Jimmy Demetral lived there as a permanent resident. (Or did until he tripped on some rolled-up carpet and sued the owners after getting out of the hospital.) A man named A.L. Heim moved there in 1926, two years after the Loraine opened, and was still there 43 years later.

The hotel was built in the 1920s by the Schroeder chain, and named for Walter Schroeder's niece. It was the vaudeville era and vaudeville great Trixie Friganza played her bass in the Loraine's second-floor crystal ballroom.

The Schroeder chain owned the hotel until 1968 when a group of half-a-dozen local business people bought it. They increasingly leased office space to the ballooning state government until the state finally bought it in 1978 and changed the name to the State Justice Building. In the late 1990s the Loraine was bought and converted into a $25 million condominium project called the Loraine.

The state largely altered the interior but some features of the hotel, like the lobby, will be restored.