2015 marks Hotel Julien Dubuque’s 100th anniversary, though written histories of Dubuque indicate that there has been a hotel or inn on the same corner of Main and Second Streets since 1839. The rich history of Hotel Julien Dubuque has been shaped by each variation of its predecessors, including the Waples House of 1843 which was likely the first building visible to travelers as they crossed the Mississippi River to Dubuque.
The elegant lobby in which visitors gather today elicits the classic grandeur of an earlier time. From the ornate woodwork and light fixtures to the antique sketches, photographs, and framed newspaper articles that don the walls, the décor itself serves as a visual representation of the hotel’s storied past.
Between visits from famous guests like Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and the notorious Al Capone, a devastating fire, economic vicissitudes, and comprehensive renovations, the most significant of which was completed in 2009 following a $30 million investment, the hotel has had quite a ride on the corner of Second and Main.
More than anything, though, Hotel Julien Dubuque’s story is defined by the memories that are continually made by our guests. Each gala, wedding, anniversary celebration, family get-together, and weekend visit to Dubuque contributes to the ever-evolving story of our hotel. Every guest who dines in Caroline’s Restaurant, enjoys a glass of wine in the Riverboat Lounge, retreats to Potosa Spa, or waits for a friend in our lobby brings with them unique experiences that contribute to the collective narrative of Hotel Julien Dubuque.
It is our hope that this blog serves as a vehicle for uncovering, reliving, and celebrating those valued memories that make up our history. Perhaps these will be the stories that are revisited when another 100 years have passed.
Do you have a special Hotel Julien Dubuque memory to share? We’d love to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.