Industry Update
Opinion Article 9 April 2020

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 229: Hotel History: Admiral Fell Inn

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, Hotel consultant

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Hotel History: Admiral Fell Inn (80 rooms)

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Fell's Point was founded in the early 1700s when the Fell Brothers arrived from Lancaster, England. Edward was a shopkeeper and his brother William was a shipbuilder. The old street names in Fell's Point are unchanged: Fell, Thames, Bond, Bank, Caroline, Fleet, Aliceanna, Wolfe, Lancaster, Shakespeare. They are still paved mostly with Belgian stone blocks and their narrow paths are edged by brick sidewalls.

The Admiral Fell Inn is four stories high, and therefore the only building in the Point that qualifies as a skyscraper. The Inn is a group of eight different buildings which date from the late 1700s. Before becoming an inn, the site was a ship chandlery, a vinegar factory, a YMCA, a boardinghouse for actors and a sailor's lodging house. The eighty guestrooms each have their own unique decor with wonderful views, many overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Some have canopy beds with balconies and Jacuzzi tubs.

The streets of Fell's Point contain hundreds of buildings built before the war of 1812 and many others before the Civil War. It was the first district in Maryland to be included on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the homes are narrow brick row houses two and a half stories tall. The gabled roofs are of slate and the narrow passageways between houses are called sallyports, allowing access from the street to the rear of the houses. Many tourists tour the famous Inner Harbor and then walk a few blocks to historic Fell's Point where they find a real neighborhood, restaurants, patisseries, bars and galleries.

Nearby attractions

  • Antique Row - 10 blocks west
  • Aquarium - 10 blocks west
  • B & O Railroad - 1 ½ miles west
  • Babe Ruth House - 10 blocks
  • Baltimore Museum of Art - 6 miles
  • Baltimore Zoo - 3 ½ miles west
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards - 12 blocks
  • Center Stage- 14 blocks
  • Christopher Columbus Building - 8 blocks
  • Convention Center - 10 blocks west
  • Edgar Allen Poe House - 1 ½ miles
  • Fort McHenry - 2 ½ miles
  • The Gallery - 9 blocks west
  • Inner Harbor - 10 blocks
  • Little Italy - 4 blocks
  • Lyric Opera House - 3 ½ miles northwest
  • Maryland Historical Society - 1 mile
  • Morris Mechanic Theater - 1 mile
  • Meyerhoff Symphony Hall - 3 ½ miles north
  • Peabody Conservatory - 1 ½ miles
  • Science Center - 10 blocks west
  • Walter's Art Gallery - 1 ½ miles
  • World Trade Center - 8 blocks

Frommer's Review describes the Inn as follows:

Updated and expanded over the years, this charming inn sits just across Thames Street from the harbor in the heart of the Fell's Point Historic District. It spans eight buildings, built between 1790 and 1996, and blends Victorian and Federal-style architecture. Originally a boardinghouse for sailors, later a YMCA, and then a vinegar bottling plant, the inn now features an antiques-filled lobby and library, along with individually decorated guest rooms with Federal-period furnishings.

The Inn is a charter member of the Historic Hotels of America and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

My New Book "Hotel Mavens Volume 3: Bob and Larry Tisch, Curt Strand, Ralph Hitz, Cesar Ritz, Raymond Orteig " has just been published.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)
  • Great American Hotel Architects Volume I (2019)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book's title.
If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Stanley Turkel

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