The origin of the Washington Hotel dates back to 1870 when it was built for workers from the Panama Railroad Company. In 1910, during an inspection tour of the Panama Canal’s progress, President William Howard Taft complained of inadequate accommodations. He authorized a grant for a new hotel. It opened in 1913 and remained under management of the U.S. government until 1954. In its prime, it was a social epicenter of Panama’s Caribbean coast. Today, the Hotel Washington is past its prime but its façade is still lovely. Next to it is the New Hotel Washington.