First Overnight Lodging Facility in Oak Ridge
The Guest House was a wood framed construction with similar structure to many other war-period dorm “H-plan” buildings. Guests standing on the porch could look out over the tennis courts just down the hill onto what seemed like a sea of dormitories.
A stopover for newcomers until they received a housing assignment, the cost was between $1.50 and $3.00 per night. The Guest House was the town’s first hotel. World famous scientists and executives stayed there including Groves, Oppenheimer, Urey, Wigner, Compton, Robinson, and Fermi. For security reasons, scientists stayed under assumed names. Kennedy also stayed there when he visited Oak Ridge during his senate term. In 1944, a 44-room addition was completed. The name was changed to the Alexander Inn in September 1950. The hotel was sold by the government to Mr. W. W. Faw for $34,000 in 1958. At that time, private bathrooms and a ballroom were added, and the kitchen was expanded. The hotel was closed down in the 1980’s.