The investment of the real estate company Hercesa, with more than 35 years of experience, revives the symbol of modernity , thus the Bucharest’s most beloved hotel coming back to life.
The famous song “Hotel Cismigiu” inspired by an in-house tragedy is released by the local band Vama Veche, as a cover of the great hit “Hotel California” from Eagles.
The building is closed.
It becomes the dormitory of the local Theatre and Movie Academy. The students here experience poor conditions in a bohemian setting, mixed with love and tragedy.
Neglect and poor management severely damage the hotel, leaving it without fresh water or electricity.
Hotel Cismigiu functioned during the last years of the communist period, until 1985 when it was closed because of its very poor conditions. Inside its restaurant one could have listened to the beloved singer Aurelian Andreescu. The hotel was also visited by the writer I. D. Sarbu, the historiographer Alexandru Zub, the singer Gil Dobrica...
Hotel Cismigiu received its name after the famous public garden situated nearby, where 100 years before the first public fountain was installed, and the administrator of Bucharest fountains was called „marele cismegiu”.
„Elisabeta” Boulevard will also be named „March 6” until 1965, when its name is replaced by „Gh. Gheorghiu-Dej”, and the former Palace Hotel becomes... Hotel Cismigiu.
Palas Bulevard, the famous cinema of the interbelic period, located on the ground floor of the Palace Hotel, will be given the name of „Timpuri Noi” Cinema, by the communists.
Gambrinus Brewery remains a happy exception and will keep its name unchanged (almost impossible during the communist period) until 1995, when it was closed together with Hotel Cismigiu.
The Communist Party’s power in Romania will influence the future of the Palace Hotel: the place is nationalized and its name is changed into „March 6”, the date when dr. Petru Groza’s government constitutes (1945), the first communist government in Romania.
During the Anglo- American bombardments over Bucharest from April – May, a bomb goes down on the Palace Hotel’s roof and distroys it.
Caragiale himself used to serve his clients, wearing a white waistcloth, so he could tease them with his sarcastic humour. The place was especially popular among journalists from Romanian newspapers Universul and Adevarul, who would fish for news and gossip, as well as actors celebrating their premiere, and also writers – it was a proper place for „nenea Iancu”.
Even after Caragiale left for Berlin in 1905, Gambrinus Brewery remained the place for people to meet, people from theatres and hosts for some jazz shows and even some popular bands of fiddlers.
The building from the Campineanu street was demolished in 1940, thus ending Gambrinus Brewery’s history full of stories. It will once again start in august 1941, when the luxurious Gambrinus Brewery opened at the ground floor of the Palace Hotel, in the place where Otto Gagel bakehouse used to be.
The Gambrinus Brewery is inaugurated at the ground floor of the Palace Hotel, belonging to a fellow Naumescu, who continued the 40 years tradition of the famous brewery originally opened in Bucharest by the Romanian writer I.L. Caragiale.
In 1901 the famous playwrighter invested in the Gambrinus Brewery, which from 1897 was located inside Mandy house on the Ion Campineanu 4 street, near the National Theatre.
The famous poet Ion Barbu lives at Palace Hotel for a while, together with his wife, Gerda Barbilian.
The Elisabeta Boulevard becomes a sort of local Broadway, where buildings with big signboards, side by side, and large cinemas were situated, some of them still existing nowadays.
The Palace Hotel is also at its best and it accommodates at the ground floor the Palace Cinema, subsequently named Palas Boulevard. Up until then it operated at no. 12, in the Mircea Hotel building on the same boulevard.
During the First World War, after Bucharest was occupied by the German army, the German Imperial Military Commandment locates inside the Bucharest City Hall on the Elisabeta Boulevard, next to the Palace Hotel.
Its facilities and services satisfied the highest expectations: bathroom in apartments, reading and mailing rooms, bar and English and French billiards, restaurant with one level (where later on Gambrinus Brewery will open), French and Romanian cuisine, phone available in every room, symphonic concerts during meals, omnibus-car for every travel by train and so on.
A spectacular chandelier lightened the lobby and a monumental staircase ensured the access to the ground-floor alongside with elevators. Golden-plates marble was also available in rooms.
The hotel’s manager was George Fabris, the former “Director of Service for Apartments and Tours of His Majesty the King Leopold I (of Belgium) and also director of other large Europeans hotels”.
The staff was mainly brought from Western countries. From chef to chambermaid, they all spoke French, German or English. Romanian language was rarely used for communication inside the hotel.
At the reception desk all guests were registered by filling in some beautiful letterheads. They were also served with Berindei chocolate treats and sweets from Nae Draghiceanu Royal Shop, a former apprentice and coworker at Casa Capsa.
The Palace Hotel is being inaugurated, as the most modern of all hotels from this side of Bucharest. It had 200 rooms, which made it one of the largest hotel in town.
Being an engineer who studied in Paris, Pissiota made the plan for the brace of the building and appointed the hotel’s elements of design and organization to his brother, the architect Arghir Culina. Culina had previously designed the Luvru Hotel (today Hotel Capitol) from Calea Victoriei and after 1912 he would make the design for Negoiu, Odeon and Ambassador hotels.
From the architectural point of view, the Palace Hotel has an eclectic style, with neoclassical and Art Nouveau elements, particular to the 1900 trend that spread in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century.
Arghir Culina built the hotel’s plan in the shape of U letter, specific to inns and city houses, that allowed full light to the yards and green gardens.
Nicolae Pissiota built one of the most impressive hotels in Bucharest at that time: PALACE HOTEL.
The place where the Palace Hotel was to be built (named Hotel Cismigiu after 1948), located between Hotel Astoria and Cinema Clasic, belonged to the furrier Sigmund Prager.
While Pache Protopopescu honored as a mayor, the East- West large boulevard was built, connecting Obor with Cotroceni- the Cotroceni Palace being the summer house of King Carol I. The place between the Academiei boulevard and Mihail Kogalniceanu was named Regina Elisabeta.
The forthcoming Cinema Bucuresti (1884), Casa Donatiunii Oastei (later Hotel Astoria), at the crossing with Brezoianu to Cismigiu garden (1884-1885) and Palatul Eforiei Spitalelor Civile (today the City Hall of District 5).
The first modern buildings are built on Elisabeta Boulevard, due to the Occidental influences and trends in restyling.
The famous Circ Sidoli sets up its tent on the place of the forthcoming Hotel Cismigiu, where it will remain until the beginning of 1900.
The first Bucharest’s boulevard - Elisabeta Doamna, laid in front of the University, is extended to Podul Mogosoaiei (today Calea Victoriei). The barrens behind Cercul Militar were occupied by the travelling circus troupes who set up their temporary facilities in this location.
Samesu Dumitrache used to live on the place of the present Hotel Cismigiu, neighboring with “Bibica Rosetti”. During that period, the area between Cercul Militar National and Cismigiu garden was full with ample gardens and individual houses.