The Leamington was one of the two giants that sat at the edge of downtown. This used to be a residential district - a mansion owned by one of the Pillsburys sat on this site. After the turn of the century, though, the hotels moved in.

Built in 1912, the Leamington was huge and stubborn, a big block of 700 rooms devoid of setbacks or crafty massing. It had an eighty-year run, mostly serving the convention center nearby. Subsequent additions gave it a top-heavy appearance, and added expensive suites that were the best in town. Our newspaper archives have a photo of the plaque that hung in the biggest room, listing the guests: Nixon. Eisenhower. Reagan. Johnson. Humphrey. Above all, Duke Ellington.