The Lake Merritt Hotel was built in 1927 at 1800 Madison Street in the Lakeside neighborhood by architect William Weeks, who also designed nearby Hotel Jackson [later Lakehurst], Leamington Hotel, Piedmont High School, the Melrose Branch of the Oakland Public Library, among others. Originally called the Madison-Lake Apartments, it was built during the apartment boom of the 1920s. The initial owner was David Hadden, a gynecologist. It became the Lake Merritt Hotel in the 1930s, with the outdoor terrace being enclosed creating a restaurant called The Terrace Room, featuring twenty-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows facing Lake Merritt. Selwyn McDonald and his Orchestra used to play there in the 1930s, broadcast over KLX radio.
Slated for demolition in 1987, the hotel was purchased and renovated by Cheryl and Randall Berger. It was briefly one of the early LGBT senior housing facilities. The restaurant is open to the public.
On June 23, 1992 the Lake Merritt Hotel was designated Oakland Landmark #112, under Zoning Case #LM 91-136.