Sunday, February 28, 2016
After the Primary, but still Presidential - JFK Hotel Texas Suite 850 Door
Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art to Feature Hotel Texas JFK Door for Sale March 3, 4, 5
Imagine having the door to John F. Kennedy’s last hotel room as your bedroom door. Or your office door. Or displayed as prime presidential history. “Suite Eight Fifty – It’ll be Famous” ran the headline of the Fort Worth Press before the day was shattered in Dallas. That historic door returns to Fort Worth for the March 3, 4, 5 Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.
In storage for 37 years, the Kennedy door will be for sale at the show, along with documentation that includes the original receipt from the wrecking company that removed it from the hotel in 1979, the door keys, original newspaper clippings that reference the door and its removal from the hotel, as well as November 1963 newsreel footage of the door at the time President and Mrs. Kennedy stayed there.
The sale of the door comes in a season of renewed fascination with all things JFK, including a Stephen King mini-series and the world premiere in Fort Worth of the opera JFK this spring.
The door to Suite 850 is a special door design known as a “Valet Door,” opening from both sides. The guest staying in the room could open their side of the door and place clothing and shoes for the valet to access and return from the outside of the door. While Suite 850 was not the best suite in the Hotel Texas, the Secret Service selected the suite for the well-documented reason that it had only one door.
Fort Worth citizens know well the story of local art collectors using station wagons to transport art from the Amon Carter Museum and from private homes, which they hung in Suite 850 for the enjoyment of the Kennedys. That story remains one of the few bright points of the November 21-22, 1963 presidential visit to Texas.
At the show, visitors will have a chance to view a little bit of American architectural and presidential history up close and personal. Perhaps the door to Suite 850 will be coming home to Fort Worth for good.
Additional JFK memorabilia at the show will include campaign posters, original photos from the Fort Worth visit and the complete Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce file on the Hotel Texas JFK Breakfast, including correspondence and seating charts.
The Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art also began in 1963. Along with the Kennedy door, at this year’s 53rd annual show, look for 150 exhibitors from California to New York to Florida, plus England, France and Laos. The show offers antique and contemporary art, as well as antique and vintage furniture from France, England, America and Italy, lighting, design, jewelry and accessories from ancient to Mid-Century Modern.