The Willard Hotel is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The hotel began life in 1816 as Tennison’s Hotel, a 6 unit complex built by Colonel John Tayloe III. After years of failing profits the structures were sold to Henry Willard in 1847, combined into one building, and eventually enlarged into the new 4-story Willard’s City Hotel. In 1853 Franklin Pierce stayed at the Willard the evening before his inauguration, beginning the first in a long line of presidential visits to the hotel. Another such visit occurred late in the evening of February 22, 1861, when president elect Abraham Lincoln was secretly swept into the Willard by detective Alan Pinkerton. Lincoln was concerned with several death threats he had received and remained here under the Pinkerton’s care in a second floor suite for 10 days until his inauguration. It was also her in 1861 that Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” She had been moved by a group of soldiers parading beneath her window to the song “John Brown’s Body.” Literary greats such as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain have all made stops at the Willard. President Ulysses S. Grant enjoyed lounging in the lobby of the Willard where he was said to have to fend off the lobbyists who sought his time. In 1901 the hotel was completely remade and redesigned by architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, with the resultant 12-story Beaux-Arts style building, which still stands, opening in 1904. From 1920 to 1923 the Willard was the home of Vice President Calvin Coolidge, who was living here in 1922 when a major fire forced the evacuation of the building. Playwright and composer George M. Cohan would say later in life that many of his best works were written while he was staying at the Willard. Author Roald Dahl lived in the Willard between 1942 and 1943 when he was the security attaché to the British Embassy. In 1963 Martin Luther King finished writing his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in his room here. On August 28 he gave the speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The hotel closed its doors in 1968 and stood vacant until it underwent a complete restoration and reopened in 1986 as the Willard InterContinental Washington. The hotel has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.