A Room in History: JFK Suite (Suite 1530) at Hilton Fort Worth

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While we leave Throwback Thursday behind, we could not help take a walk through Hilton Fort Worth Hotel in JFK’s footsteps. For 50 Novembers ago, on November 21st, America’s 35th president John F. Kennedy had his final sleep in Suite 850 of the then Hotel Texas. Once you step off the lifts on the eighth floor and into the corridor, look up and you will see a large photo of him leaving the hotel for Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and to the left, where the First Couple spent their last night.

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Registered as a national historic landmark, the Hilton Fort Worth played a prominent backdrop, as the young president addressed the thousands who had gathered to catch a glimpse of America’s most popular political figure. His final speech came minutes later in the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom where 2,000 attendees joined the President and First Lady for breakfast.

 

As Suite 850 has long disappeared during the renovations throughout the last 50 years which saw the hotel rebrand itself several times, finally as Hilton Fort Worth, what remains of its original location now is the standard room 808. Regardless, Hilton is the first owner to utilise the Kennedy connection as a point of distinction for the hotel. Photos documenting JFK’s and Jackie’s stay at the hotel and JFK’s final hours are displayed in the lobby and mezzanine.. And in 2012 this connection was recognised with a bronze of President Kennedy speaking in roughly the same spot where he stood.

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While you may not be able to sleep in the same room as the Kennedys on the eve of that fateful morning in American history, fear not – you can still stay at JFK Presidential Suite 1530 – with all 2200 square feet dedicated to JFK’s legacy. The interior decor of the JFK Suite is inspired by the renovation that Jackie did at the White House during JFK’s presidency. 

A selection of political and family photos signpost the entrance to the  JFK Suite. A huge formal living and dining area welcomes you as you step into Suite 1530 with dazzling crystal chandeliers dangling from the suite’s 22 foot ceilings and JFK’s portrait above the mahogany console in the dining room. Inside the master bedroom furnished in reproduction 18th century furniture, the pride of place goes to a king size 4-poster canopy bed.

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At $2,500 a night if the JFK Suite stretches your budget, you can always opt for a standard room at the hotel and visit the Sixth Floor Museum which showcases photos, news clips, and artifacts documenting JFK‘s assassination. Make sure to stop at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza to pay your respects and see the “X” that marks JFK’s fatal shot.

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Text by Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo

Hotel image by Mark Fisher

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