About the Grand Summit
The year was 1868, one of classic elegance, horse-drawn carriages, gas lamps, and top hats, and the early beginnings of The Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, New Jersey. The “Hill City” was the embodiment of late 1860’s gentility, made famous as a gracious resort area. New Yorkers flocked to Summit for its beautiful rural charm, “pureness of atmosphere”, and “salubrious climate and pure water supply.”
At the heart of this idyllic setting lay The Blackburn House, an elegant country resort. In season, a picturesque parade of horses and buggies would be seen carrying hotel patrons and their servants from the nearby Lackawanna Railroad Station – the “Road of Anthracite” to The Blackburn House.
The Blackburn House offered amenities such as a bowling green, tennis courts, a casino, rambling wooden verandahs, and cuisine noted to be “the best obtainable”.
Many wealthy guests so enamored with the area eventually relocated here, building mansions and giving rise to Summit’s legendary high society and a reputation as the “Newport of New Jersey”.
The Historic Grand Summit Hotel
In 1929, as a result of the growing number of visits to Summit, the Summit Suburban Hotel as it was originally known was erected on the site of the original Blackburn House. Expert European craftsmen were commissioned to design the intricate exterior brickwork reminiscent of a classic Tudor mansion. The original interior lobby featuring vaulted beamed ceiling, gold-leaf detailing, chestnut woodwork, and stone fireplace have been restored and maintained throughout the years.
The new Summit Suburban Hotel was opened just months before the 1929 stock market crash, and many of the wealthy residents who lost their homes and estates now called the hotel their home moving in with their family and staff.
The Summit Suburban Hotel continued as the home of celebrated lifestyle frequented by prominent politicians and celebrities who were drawn to the park-like setting, convenient proximity to cultural and recreational attractions, charming downtown Summit, and easy access to Manhattan.
The hotel continues the storied history today, with a commitment to service excellence in an elegant setting unmatched in the area.