Who the Helen of Troy is This?

by Prince Of Petworth — July 24, 2014 at 10:20 am 27 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I have a mystery for the residents of D.C.

Currently, The now closed Latham Hotel and its adjoining restaurant, Michel Richard’s Citronelle, are liquidating all of their assets (they will be doing so for the next 3 weeks).
The location is in Georgetown and I think people will find the sale interesting. As they unload a hotel’s worth of items, some curious things are going up for sale. Amongst the silverware, artwork, furniture, and statuary there was this:

A 300 pound bronze-cast plaque.

It is being sold-off…One of the ladies suggested purchasing it for its scrap value…Still no one knows who the image depicts.
Aside from what is seen here, there are no maker’s marks at all on the front or the back. Can anyone identify this person?”

Ed. Note: Obviously, free PoPville t-shirt for the first one to get the identity right.

Latham Hotel at 3000 M Street, NW

  • KSB

    It’s quite obviously Frank Underwood.

    • Truxton Thomas

      Ha, I don’t even watch that show and I thought the same thing.

    • albany

      Ha, I was going to write the same thing – a serious guess being Jimmy Carter? Although having ‘Embassy Row’ above him would be a bit cruel.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Rodgers

  • Shirt Please

    It’s Mr. Latham

  • Jerome Barry?

  • Jb

    David Aceveda

  • Anonymous

    I’m guessing it’s Edward R Murrow.


  • Edgewood Girl

    Is it Ronald reagan?

  • calvinandhobos

    Wait, is this a serious question? It’s obvious. It’s Mr. Row.

  • Anonymous

    It’s Dan Rather

  • AP

    It’s Paul Whetsell who is the former Chairman and CEO of the hotel company that previously owned the Latham. The bronze plaque used to hang at another one of their properties at Embassy Row. Inside joke.

    • KSB

      That’s a pretty awesome inside joke 🙂 Nice!

    • Ah didn’t see you got the answer first – thank you!

    • Anonymous

      Wow thats crazy.

  • Joe Porter

    I know who this is because I worked for him. He’s Paul Whetsell. He was the founder and CEO of Capstar Hotels and later Interstate Hotels and Resorts. They were the owners of the Latham at one time.

  • Anonymous 2

    This is one of a pair of medallions which “mysteriously” appeared on the facade of the Embassy Row Hotel on or about 1999/ 2000. None of those involved in its appearance and erection ever admitted to how it got there! However once the person in question became aware of it (story has it that his young son saw it and recognized his Dad, as the family drove-by on Mass Ave one day), it was quickly removed.
    It was subsequently the prize “medal” at the inter-company golf match between MeriStar Hospitality and Interstate Hotels and Resorts

    • Anonymous

      Cool Backstory! I dropped a message at Whetsell’s office to see if he would want it.

  • CapStar Rocks

    The Embassy Row Hotel was the original hotel for that company and the medallions hung on that hotel. Given all the important people memorialized in metal and stone in that area, it was only appropriate that the most studmuffin CEO of DC be similarly recognized.

  • Mark Sample

    Oh it’s Paul Whetsell (PW), the current CEO of Loews Hotels in NYC. Early in his career he was the General Manager of the Embassy Row Hotel, currently the Hilton Embassy Row. It went on to lead CapStar Hotels, which merged with American General Hotels and became MeriStar Hotels, and then split off to become MeriStar Hospitality which was mainly sold to Blackstone. PW was chairman of MeriStar Hotels and Resorts when it merged with Interstate Hotels before finally leaving and ending up with Loews Hotels in NYC.

    The plaque was installed on the Embassy Row hotel, but alas, PW did not like it up there and had it removed. It wound up being stored in the Latham, which the company also owned at the time. I would love to purchase if I ever had the chance.

  • CapStar Rocks

    Do you think Loew’s would buy this and put it up in their New York offices? Unsure if it should go in the offices or on the exterior of the Regency Hotel there.

  • Anonymous 3

    I was talking to someone about this and they indicated Greg Kavanagh and Bill Croke were involved in the medallions as they oversaw the hotel. It also occurred to me that the DC historical society may want to preserve the medallion. Perhaps the current ownership would get a significant tax write off if they were to donate the medallion to the city?

  • Anonymous 3

    I went to check and the medallion is sold and removed from the building? It sold for the full price of $1200 plus a buyers premium. Does anyone know where it is? Who is Bruce Wiles, his name was floated by the staff.


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