Belvedere Hotel seems destined to become a...


October 08, 1990

NOW THAT THE Belvedere Hotel seems destined to become a condominium apartment building, it is worth recalling that the hotel's owners nearly rejected the name that has identified this landmark building for the past 87 years.

When plans for a new hotel at the corner of Charles and Chase streets were discussed around the turn of the century, proposed names included Iroquis, Roosevelt, Garrett and even Balmar.

The Belvedere opened in 1903. Over the years it would include presidents and notables among its guests. Yet one of its most memorable moments came in 1913, when eight cooks -- one-half of its culinary force -- walked out in the middle of the evening rush, leaving 500 patrons without meals.

The walkout was caused by an argument between the hotel's French and Assyrian cooks, according to a newspaper account. They got into a fight over whether rose leaves or carnation petals should be put in finger bowls.

"After a heated battle, the Assyrians sang their national anthem and departed," it was reported, and the hotel management had to round up temporary help from the city's other hotels and restaurants.

*LAST WEEK, this department chastised bush-league Baltimoreans who repeatedly booed Orioles catcher Mickey Tettleton as he struggled through a long batting slump.

Well, the bush leaguers were out in force for the last game of the season. They booed lustily when Mickey struck out on his third appearance at the plate.

Then came the ninth inning. The score between the Birds and the Toronto Blue Jays was tied at 2-2. Up came Cal Ripken (no boos). He flied out. Up came Sam Horn (no boos). He flied out.

Up came Tettleton (a scattering of boos as the count went to two balls and two strikes). Then Mickey slammed a fastball over the right field wall for a game-winning home run to end the season with a victory.

Suddenly there were no bush leaguers in Memorial Stadium. Fans were cheering Tettleton as though they had loved him forever.

*A HIGH-RANKING factotum in state government recently wrote to complain about an article on this page referring to "prison guards." That is a demeaning term, he implied. The Schaefer regime is trying "to raise the professionalism of these dedicated state employees."

Henceforth, the factotum urged, call them "correctional officers." Sort of like referring to garbage-truck workers as "sanitary engineers."

Gallimaufry will have none of it -- until our members are given proper respect, too. How does "essayist engineer" or "journalism officer" sound?

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