Louisville hotel shares Great Gatsby connection


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on May 10, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Updated Friday, May 10 at 6:00 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) –The modern version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" opened in theaters today and some of its most romantic scenes are in fact inspired by Louisville, specifically the Seelbach Hotel.

Few may know that Fitzgerald started writing the novel while he was at the hotel in 1918.

One look at the glamorous new version of the classic "The Great Gatsby" and you can't help but notice a piece of Louisville is in the film.

The Seelbach had a major influence on author F. Scott Fitzgerald. He visited the hotel frequently when he was a soldier stationed at Camp Taylor.

"I think it was a lot of the features of the property being close to Camp Taylor but being able to come up here and celebrate on the weekends," Christopher Crider,  General Manager of the Seelbach Hotel said.

Crider showed me one of the hallmarks of the movie, the grand ballroom where the wedding between Tom and Daisy happened.

“It’s the place to have a wedding. It has the history behind it and a priceless memory," Crider said.

Fitzgerald was also quite fond of the hotel's two bars, one was the USO club called the Rathskeller and the Seelbach Bar, one that’s gained him quite a reputation.

"As legend has it he was actually escorted out of the Old Seelbach Bar on a couple of occasions for having one too many Seelbach cocktails," Crider said.

Legend has it that Fitzgerald actually started writing parts of the novel on cocktail napkins in the hotel bar. 

For visitors of the hotel, it’s a stay that's extra special.

“I’m anxious to see the movie. It’s interesting about the ballroom and the history about the hotel in the movie. Very cool,” visitor Chuck Weisberg said.

It's a slice of Louisville history... Now on the big screen