A Rebuild Of Our Historic Hotel In Washington
Reprinted from the Washington News-Reporter, March 7, 2002
Following the Great Fire of 1895, which swept away the entire block of wooden structures on the west side of the Public Square, brothers J.H. and T.M. Fitzpatrick returned to Washington to rebuild on the property their family had owned since 1843.
They hired architects Goluke and Stewart to design the Queen Anne facade with the architectural tone of The Square and set off a spirited completion race with the Johnson Hotel several blocks away (on the site of Regions Bank today).
The three-story structure included three storefronts and a gracious lobby on the ground floor with hotel rooms, a parlor, and a large dining room on the upper floors.
Spacious at 28 feet by 40 feet and with a 17-foot high pressed metal ceiling, the dining room was for many years a favorite place of Washington’s citizens and visitors. Reportedly, the building even had an elevator.
Although the hotel room and dining room closed in the early 1950s, the ground floor business spaces remained in use until recently.
The building has been virtually out of service for half a century, and there have been efforts at restoration since 1981. The property was placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1982.
The Downtown Development Authority acquired the property in 1997 and began concerted effort to find a developer who would recognize the historic character of the building and its place in the community.
When negotiations failed with one developer, the DDA formally put the historic hotel on the market and the new owners answered the call.