A guest who stayed with us recently asked about these "vents" in the guest room doors. She did not receive a satisfactory answer from the staff member she queried, so she thought to write to me, which certainly gained her the correct response. Based on what happened, I decided a blog post was in order, since she would hardly be the first person to wonder what they were seeing.
On the inside of each guest room door, you can see these vents, as shown in the top photo.
On the outside of each door, you see the panel below.
What we are seeing here were indeed vents in the era before air conditioning. They gave the guests all that control, to be able to open or close "their" vents, depending on whether or not they wanted to try to catch a breeze by opening their room window(s) and opening the vent in the door, thus creating cross-ventilation. Since there was no refrigerated air conditioning in 1925 when the hotel opened, this was as good as it got.
Over time, when air conditioning was introduced to the building, it appears that the vents were covered over with a decorative raised panel, to keep from having to deal with the air of the hallways intruding on the nice chilled air of the guest rooms, as well, we suspect, in an effort to make the rooms a bit more quiet and private.
I hope you enjoy this look at a bit of our history which still shows itself today.
And I hope to see you here.