the mid 1930's two factors would result in the
first alteration of the Statler's public spaces.
By that time the hotel was over twenty years old.
It was beginning to look 'old fashioned' and worn
out. Additionally the concept of fine dining was
changing. The Statler's existing restaurants had
been designed for the Edwardian era. During the
Depression people sought glamorous entertainment
in the form of night clubs. These created a need
for change which the Statler had to address. The
answer was the Terrace Room, opened in November
Terrace Room was part of a project undertaken
at both the Detroit and Cleveland Statlers. Other
elements of this undertaking included a matching
Lounge Bar, new retail space, and new meeting
rooms. Detroit's new rooms were installed in the
lower portion of the 1916 addition. The Terrace
Room taking up the west half and the Lounge Bar
the east. In the renovations the old Grill
and Men's Cafe were removed.
old interior decorator Louis Rorimer was still
in business and thus was called to design the
new facilities. For the Terrace Room he used a
'modified Empire' style. Rorimer gave the room
brilliant colors of oyster white, ebony black,
deep bluish green, gold, and "firecracker
6840 square foot room could accommodate 300 diners.
On the north end of the room was an ebony black
orchestra platform from which many of the great
big bands would play. The center of the room could
be cleared into a 770 square foot dance floor.
This was described as a "brownish island
of polished maple set in a bluish-green sea of
In keeping with Statler's technical innovations,
special equipment was installed in the kitchens.
This equipment included an automatic conveyor
which could pick up 450 dishes a minute and carried
them 80 feet to the dishwashers. This saved countless
millions of employee steps "back stage."
Terrace Room was well received. Michigan Governor
Frank Murphy said "Detroit is very fortunate
in having these beautiful rooms. They are a great
tribute to the Statler management which has shown
its fine faith in our city by providing these
unexcelled entertainment facilities." It
quickly became the hottest night spot in Detroit.
Similar rooms were soon installed in the chain's
the Second World War the Terrace Room was modernized.
The "modified empire" decor gave way
to a sleeker look. However, the quality of its
service and its popularity remained. That would
not last into the 1960's.
1963 the Terrace Room had outlived
its usefulness. Such nightclubs had fallen out
of the public's favor. The Hilton management felt
the space would serve better as two modern restaurants.
The northern portion of the old Terrace Room became
the Candlelight Room, later renamed The Coffee
House. This was a comfortable moderately priced
dining room with table and counter service. Piped
in music replaced the tunes of the likes of Desi
Arnaz and Xavier Cugat.
of the Candlelight Room was the Trophy Room, later
the Beef Barron. This was an upscale steak house
offering a rustic atmosphere of wood beams and
rough stone walls.