Shepheard’s in photographs

Although no physical trace of the original Shepheard’s hotel remains, it was well documented while it stood. It was the subject of several photo essays in international magazines including Life and, I think, Picture Post. The hotel’s earlier incarnation (before the 1890 rebuild) was captured by several of the pioneering Middle Eastern photographers including Bonfils and Sebah. When it came to selecting images for Grand Hotels, we were spoiled for choice, and we were only able to include the merest fraction of what was available. I thought I might post some of those images that did not make the cut here. This particular set, below, dates from 1948, so just four years before the hotel was burned down.

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The chap behind the counter here is bartender Joe Scialom: if you don’t know about Joe, then go here.


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Filed under Grand hotels, Shepheard's

8 Responses to Shepheard’s in photographs

  1. Christina Harris

    Makes me weep for the past.

  2. Alexander Hed

    How stupid the Egyptians were to vandalize this beautiful hotel…the Egyptians are stupid when it comes to preserving old buildings..Medieval Cairo has survived by a chance…the modern Helnan “Shepheard” is a concrete Collosus without a soul as is the Semiramis Intercontinental and the Ramses hilton…ugly boxes instead of the beautiful old buildings of British Cairo.

    • naim boutros

      Ok to comment and l agree with you it’s terrible to destroy those monumental buildings but l would not describe Egyptians as stupid in this context as that was at time of unrest and rioting where these acts are known to happen wherever these riots happen

  3. Sad to hear this hotel is no longer. These images are awesome though!

  4. Steven

    Are any of Shepheard’s architectural plans or elevations surviving?

    I would imagine there would have been a window plan… Are any of these things available to be seen someplace?

  5. Pingback: At Shepheard’s Grill and the Mena House, Cairo | The Cook and the Curator | Sydney Living Museums

  6. alexander hed

    I Agree to disagree..the Egyptians could have preserved beautiful old buildings as hotels that would have attracted elegant and moneyed Clients. with taste..not just Gulf Arabs?..the riots of 1952 were organized vandalism….the new buildings of the modern Egyptian tourist trade are soulless and empty..just Las Vegas by the Nile…no piety for what is beautiful and what would attract foreigners…its a miracle that the Pyramids are still standing??..the ruler Muhammed Ali-Pasha also lacked any sense of history or any feeling for beauty of Egypt s past? May be this is a Turkish Ottoman mentality that was imported to Egypt???

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