I enjoyed "Hooray for Hollywood" [Weekend. January 16] very much. The shrift you gave to the Hotel Continental, however, is too short.
I recall our vast amusement at the hotel scenes, at the time we saw Houseboat , every time Cary Grant went into the Hotel Continental, grounded in the fact that the exterior views were indeed of the Continental while the interior shots were studio shots made, I am sure, in Hollywood.
My grandfather was an original investor, director and attorney in, of and for the Washington Hotel Company, which built the Hotel Continental on North Capitol Street around 1915. The hotel stood serviceably (and profitably) until perhaps ten years ago, when the Washington Hotel Company purchased adjacent land in the rear, fronting on New Jersey Avenue, constructed the Quality Inn -- the Hyatt was later built across the street -- and then sold the Continental to purchasers who replaced it with the existing office building. The Continental catered, of course, to rail travelers and happy hordes of school children, and the rooms, while nice enough, in no way resembled those simulated in Houseboat .
So you are correct when you write that "there's no such-named hotel" -- but there was, for a long time.