The builder of the new apartment building-turned-hotel in Manhattan wanted to call it the Puritan, but Frank Case knew that wouldn’t do. Case decided to name it after the people who preceded the Puritans instead.
“Installed as the manager of the new Algonquin Hotel, Case brought much of his own personality into the residence and dining rooms on 44th Street. Case couldn’t stand politicians. He had no use for athletes. He ignored businessmen. He turned up his nose at socialites. What Frank Case admired most in this world were men and women of talent.
“’Gifted people should not only be tolerated,’ he said, ‘but they should be encouraged in their strange and temperamental antics.’
“’People of unique ability are unique creatures, and it is only when they try to act like the rest of us that are artificial and out of character.’”
Case got what he was after, and then some, attracting newspaper people, authors, playwrights and actors — the sharpest wits of their day and nation, who spent the 1920s there drawing their rhetorical swords to skewer the hypocrites, the sentimentalists, the dullards and the dishonest.
Source: “Smart Aleck: The Wit, World and Life of Alexander Woollcott” by Howard Teichmann