An important objective of Hilton Hotels Corporation is
to make its properties appreciate in value over the years,
rather than depreciate. To accomplish this and at the
same time to assure that our hotels offer only the finest
accommodations, large sums have been expended in a
continuing improvement program. In 1957, expenditures
for improvements and maintenance were greater than in
any previous year.
A number of major programs, underway for many
months, were completed during the year. One of these
was a mammoth air-conditioning program which, over a
period of eighteen months, involved the expenditure of
$8,000,000. At The Conrad Hilton in Chicago $3,000,000
was spent on a completely new centralized year-around
air-conditioning and heating system. The scope of this
project is indicated by the fact that it required 116,000
feet of copper tubing, 55,000 fittings and necessitated
completing conversion of the electrical system in the
hotel to alternating current from direct current. Other
major air-conditioning programs were completed over
the past two years at The Waldorf-Astoria, The Palmer
House, and The Statler Hilton Hotels in New York,
Cleveland and Detroit.
A new, direct dial telephone exchange was completed
at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York. This is a forerunner
of a design which eventually will become standard at
Hilton hotels. Installed at a cost of $250,000, the new
exchange permits direct dialing by guests, not only of
local and long distance calls, but of other rooms and
The Savoy-Plaza is building a new Trader Vic restaurant in space formerly occupied by the Red Coach Inn.
The new restaurant, which will open in April, will be
similar to other Traders restaurants at The Beverly
Hilton and Palmer House. Another Trader Vic is being
built at the new Habana Hilton.
At The Shamrock Hilton in Houston, Texas, forty-four
lanai cabanas facing the $1,000,000 swimming pool were
completed during 1957. The cabanas, built at a cost of
$400,000, have individual terraces or lanais, affording an
expansive view of the swimming pool. A glass-enclosed
walkway leads to the hotel proper.
The Conrad Hilton's convention service facilities were
expanded in 1957 through the acquisition of the Eighth
Street Theatre and an adjoining seven-story building.
The theatre, which adjoins the hotel, has an unusually
large and well equipped stage ideal for convention
A $400,000 program to double the seating capacity of
the Bali Room in The Beverly Hilton was undertaken
in 1957 to meet a pressing need for enlarged banquet and
convention facilities. The new Bali Room, when opened
in April, will seat 1600-1800. The Beverly Hilton's
coffee shop is also being enlarged.
An additional banquet room at The Statler Hilton in
Los Angeles, the building of cocktail lounges at both
The Netherland Hilton and Terrace Hilton in Cincinnati, and the construction of luxury suites in the Buffalo
and Detroit Statler Hiltons were among the other important improvements completed in 1957. Plans were
drawn for the construction of lanai cabanas and swimming pool adjacent to the San Antonio Hilton, together
with another pool and restaurant on hotel property.