The Old White

Dorothy Draper Reinvigorates a Classic

In 1947, when Dorothy Draper was chosen to revive The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, she was already a well-known New York society designer. This impressive undertaking—restoring a historic hotel after it had been used as a temporary hospital for wounded veterans—took her just sixteen months to complete, with an unprecedented budget of $4.2 million. The design was described as "thoroughly American and traditionally Southern in that all important quality, hospitality" and a "veritable home-away-from-home for those who seek pleasure and rest."

The Greenbrier Hotel's interiors were outfitted with exuberant, over-sized floral prints, luxurious gilt and marble surfaces and details, and large, airy spaces that created an atmosphere of elegance and ease.