11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Year Listed: 1996
Location: Concord, New Hampshire
Threat: Deterioration, Neglect
Built in 1874, by Boston-area distiller, Daniel Chase, as Wentworth Hall, the eighty-two room hotel was located just outside of Portsmouth near the Maine border at the mouth of the Piscataqua River. Five years later, Hotel Wentworth, as it was now called, was acquired by Frank Jones, who transformed it into a 300-room local, regional, and national resort destination. For more than a century the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Hotel hosted everyone from vacationing movie stars to middle-class families to writers to members of the British Royal Family. The resort exemplified the leisurely vacation of Victorian America -- during the day guests enjoyed boating, swimming, tennis, or golf. At night time patrons dined at the hotel's restaurant and danced in the ballroom. In 1905, Russian and Japanese diplomats, brought together by President Theodore Roosevelt, stayed at the hotel while negotiating the Treaty of Portsmouth that ended the Russo-Japanese War. In 1981 however, the hotel was purchased by a Swiss company and closed the following year.