The sheen on the banister of a century-old mahogany staircase. The patina on a weathered copper gutter. A muted reflection in a slightly silvered mirror. Historic hotels have a unique charm that can't be reproduced by slick replicas or new construction. Thanks to an increase in tourism brought about by a booming economy and the introduction of railroad lines crisscrossing the country, America's Gilded Age ushered in a new age in hospitality. Influenced by the grand hotels of Europe, luxury edifices in a variety of architectural styles—Beaux-Arts, Renaissance Revival, Shingle Style, and Spanish Colonial—sprung up coast-to-coast. Construction continued through the Jazz Age, fizzling only after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Grand Dame Hotels: The Resurgence of Opulence and Historic Architecture after Post-WWII Decline

Post-WWII, many of the nation's most opulent hotels found themselves crippled by financial downturns and costly, aging infrastructures. Many were shuttered and left to decay. Others took on new identities as office buildings, their interiors radically altered. In the wake of mid-century modernism, however, a new appreciation for historic architecture began to emerge. By the 1980s, Grand Dame hotels that had long been neglected were once again in vogue, the beneficiaries of deep pockets and comprehensive restoration programs—a trend that continues to this day.

Adam Jones // Flickr
Adam Jones // Flickr

Thanks to this movement, many of America's historic hotels are listed on the National Register for Historic Preservation and are also members of the Historic Hotels of America Program—a collection of more than 260 hotels committed to preserving their architectural and aesthetic roots. Backed by both individual investors and large corporations, these national treasures continue to serve a new generation of discerning tourists.

Discover the History and Charm of America's Most Iconic Historic Hotels

Stacker trawled through travel websites and consulted preservation resources to compile this slideshow of stunning, historic hotels in every state. Each hotel on Stacker's list is at least 50 years old and has a unique story behind it. Scroll through the list to find out which hotels are purported to be haunted, served the country during times of war, and ushered in a national dance craze.

LOOK: Stunning, historic hotels from every state and the stories behind them

Stacker curated this list of stunning, historic hotels from every state. To be considered for inclusion, the structure must be more than 50 years old. Many of the selected hotels are listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and several are purported to be haunted.

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