The Blue Marbles Project: Tom Sweeney (2011)
The Blue Marbles Project: Tom Sweeney (2011)
The Blue Marbles Project: Tom Sweeney (2011)
San Francisco's favorite hotel greeter, Tom Sweeney welcomes the Blue Marble to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in 2011. After 43 years of service, Sweeney hung up his uniform in 2020. In 2022, the hotel was reopened as the Beacon Grand. "Where once Sir Francis Drake took center stage, now we pay homage to all those who made The City, and this hotel, so great." During opening weekend in 1928, when the doors to the Sir Francis Drake were opened, 10,000 visitors converged on the heart of the city to see the new hotel at Union Square for themselves. An epic party drew San Francisco’s mayor, California's governor, and Hollywood celebrities to inaugurate the hotel with orchestras, tuxedos, gowns, and champagne. After dinner, music, and dancing, they played the indoor golf course and marveled at the ice water on tap in every room. In the 1940s, the original private rooftop apartments were converted into the Starlite Room, a dazzling nightclub with panoramic views. The first Beefeater doormen debuted in 1940 to show support for the British who then stood alone against Nazi Germany. Both institutions ultimately gave grassroots rise to celebrity hosts, from Starlite’s famed impresario Harry Denton to doormen like former RAF pilot Bill Elliott and the legendary Tom Sweeney, who (after taking between 500 and 1,000 pictures a day with visitors, beginning in 1976) is almost surely the most photographed man in San Francisco history.
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2011 Andi Wong
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Andi Wong
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