An unusual method of coining dollars from the waste space on the roof of a building is shown in this view of the U. S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, where about twenty tents have been pitched far above the city. The view is fine, the air good, and as the elevator and other hotel service is at hand, the guests enjoy camp life and city advantages together. The proprietor receives a good rate for these quarters, so that the novel idea is beneficial all around.

  1. rev pj says: January 20, 20091:51 pm

    Cool. I stayed at the U.S. Grant a few years ago, and should have asked for a tent on the roof.

  2. LightningRose says: January 20, 20091:55 pm

    There’s an old joke definition of camping as a staying in a hotel without room service. This confuses the issue. 🙂

  3. Myles says: January 20, 20092:08 pm

    These magazine seemed obsessed with the wasted space on top of buildings. Actually the space is used for a air conditioning and heating equipment, skylights, access for maintanence, at to keep the elements out with special coatings. I would imagine if a 15 story building wanted a 16th story, they would have built it.

  4. Jari says: January 20, 20094:31 pm

    I think that in 1914 there weren’t centralized HVAC or ventilation in hotels. I do know, that there were HVAC systems at that era, but they used ammonia instead of freon…. deadly if leaked. And I lived in a 6 story building built at early fifties, where ventilation was just natural air currents. Exthaus was in the kitchen next to central heating chimney to create draft and intakes were basically 2 holes in the wall. You could close those intakes thought 🙂

    My guess is that the roof was mostly empty space. And you can check shorpy com for some rooftop images of that era. And there are a plethora of other great images from the early 1900’s to see.

    Whew, that was a long comment and somewhat on the sidelines….. Cheers:Jari

  5. Scott B. says: January 20, 200911:31 pm

    HVACs? Heck, in 1914 there were barely fire escapes on high rises! Witness the horrible Winecoff Hotel fire in Atlanta 1946.

  6. hwertz says: January 22, 200910:12 pm

    They still do this in Morocco. One hotel I stayed at, you could pay like $4 for a room, or somewhat less to take a sleeping bag or tent up to the roof. The one I was at, the only thing on the roof (besides a few people staying up there…) was a rather ricketyl-looking add-on floor 10 or so feet above roof level with a few chairs and a table, to have a nice view of the city, a (Dish network sized) satellite dish and small TV antenna. $4 a night does not get you heat or A/C 😎 so no large hardware on the roof.

  7. SouthernPacificRonin says: October 26, 20093:21 am

    To respond respectively but, to correct a misunderstanding about this era of commercial structure’s to the commentator “LighteningRose” and any other individual on the simplicities of building’s of this time…..Commercial building’s of this era generally did not have the elaborate ventalation system’s, air conditioning ( albeit from movie theatre’s with early day “wooden swamp cooling towers” ), and the what-not built into the roof. That most all structure’s built since the end of WWII uniformally have. These great engineering marvel’s and historical masterpieces relied on exactly what you see in these old black n’ white photograph’s and post cards. Wooden louvre window’s that you would “unlatch and open”. Each room in a “high class” establishment like this one were equipped with an electric fan usually mounted in a corner that would draw in and disperse the air properly. Every hallway would end at a window or fire escape door that could be opened for the same ventalation purpose’s, as well as any and all Dining Rooms and Grand Ballrooms would also have their usual 12ft tall windows open for the same reason, summer or winter. In other words these building were not the air tight and climate controlled boxes we know today! Such came from the advances achieved during WWII……For the record I prefer to stay at these great historical landmarks any chance I get to. That is when financial constraints allow!!

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