Williamsburg Virginia

Here are three 18th century outbuildings at the Grissell-Hay house. From left to right they are a privy, a smokehouse, and a dairy. Judging by their appearance in this 1920's photo, work began just in time. Restoration was done using almost all original materials.   Built in 1715, the powder magazine stored arms and ammunition during Colonial times. It was later used for the same purpose by the Confederates during the Civil War. It was also a  dancing school, then a livery. The outer wall was demolished in 1856, just before restoration began, to make room for a Greek Revival church, seen in this 1934 photo.     The Governor's Palace was built in 1706 and burned in 1860. It was rebuilt on the original foundation in 1930 following demolition of a school shown in this photo.     The Payton Randolph house was built in 1716 and was subsequently altered several times. Randolph was Speaker of the House of Burgesses  and President of the First Continental Congress. When Randolph died, Thomas Jefferson bought his extensive book collection, which, in turn, was purchased by the government and became the beginning of the Library of Congress. The first photo is dated 1870.       The Prentis store was built in 1739 and is the oldest surviving commercial building in Colonial Williamsburg. It was once used as an auto service station as seen in this 1927 photo. Here is a view of the Duke of Gloucester Street from the west end taken in the 1890s.     The Wren Building at the College of William and Mary was built in 1697. It is the oldest academic structure in continuous use in America. It had many alterations following severe fires in 1705 and  1859 as well as damage in the Civil War. Here is the earliest known photo of the Wren Building--an 1856 daguerreotype.    
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Williamsburg Virginia

Due largely to the vision and generosity of John D, Rockefeller, Jr., there is no better place in America for then-and-now photos than Williamsburg, VA.  Beginning in 1926 he quietly bought up much of the former colonial capitol of Virginia. The main road through town has long been the Duke of Gloucester Street, running one mile from the Capitol building west to the College of William and Mary. Following the restoration of 88 original buildings and the reconstruction of many others, the "new" Williamsburg was formally dedicated by FDR in 1934. The first photo is dated 1909 and shows a monument to the former capitol on the site. The second photo shows FDR at the dedication. Just how much work was needed can be seen in the 1892 photo of the Crump House on the Duke of Gloucester Street.     Restoration planners knew visitors would need a place to stay so the elegant Williamsburg Inn was constructed in 1937 as seen in this construction photo.       George Wythe was a mentor to Thomas Jefferson while Jefferson attended William and Mary. The Wythe House looks much like it appeared in this 1926 photo.     An eye-catching photo is this picture of a tank parked on the Duke of Gloucester Street during a WWI bond drive.     Here is a ca. 1928 photo of the north side of Duke of Gloucester Street. Note the second building--the milliner shop. It is a good example of the architectural integrity that was observed throughout the renovation process. In the third photo,  note especially the original eaves line where the second floor had been added (click to enlarge).
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Erie Canal

An idea of the magnitude of lock construction is seen in the first photo dated 1907 showing Lock #3 in Waterford NY and again in an undated photo. Click to enlarge.       During winter, a favorite pastime was skating on the Canal as seen in this ca,1900 photo from Clinton Square.     This is a late 1800's photo of Syracuse City Hall from the Canal side.     This photo shows the last stop on the Canal in Buffalo NY around 1915. (See Western New York Heritage 1/1/2008.)      
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Erie Canal

Ground was broken for the Erie Canal in 1817, making the current year its bi-centennial. It took 8 years to complete the 363 miles from Albany NY to Buffalo NY. The Canal was 40-feet wide with a 10-foot horse/mule towpath for room to pull the barges. Several photos and much information are presented courtesy of The Erie Canal Museum. The first 2 photos show a driver change in ca. 1900.

      This photo shows Clinton Square ca. 1905.     This photo shows a mother painting her boat (with a little help from her daughter) in 1947 along the canal. The house in the rear is Guy Park Manor built in 1773, which, unfortunately, incurred serious damage during Hurricane Irene in 2011. It is still undergoing renovation and remains unoccupied.     This photo shows the Pine St, Lock in Lockport in 1910.       Here is an undated photo of another lock in Lockport.      
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Franklin Hotel

    Located in Deadwood, SD, the Franklin Hotel opened in 1903 with many luxuries, including private baths in half of the 80 rooms. Over the years it hosted luminaries such as Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Buffalo Bill, Babe Ruth, and John Wayne.The Crash of '29 forced the hotel to convert to apartments. It became a hotel again in 1989 when Deadwood legalized gambling. It underwent a major renovation in 2005 when it was purchased by the neighboring Silverado Casino. The first photo is dated 1910, and the third is from 1922.

       
Categories: Hotels | Leave a comment

Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel is located on Mackinaw Island, MI, and was built in only 93 days in 1887. At 660 feet, the porch is considered the longest in the world. AAA gives it a 4 Star rating.The Grand Hotel is considered one of the finest hotels in the world. It celebrated it's 130th birthday in July 2017.  The first photo is from the 1890s, the third is dated 1915, and the fifth is undated.            
Categories: Hotels | Leave a comment

La Fonda Hotel

The La Fonda is located in Santa Fe, NM, and sits on the site of the town's first inn established in 1607, making it the oldest hotel site in the country's oldest state capitol. The current structure was built in 1922 following a 1919 WWI bond drive. For the price of a $100 bond,  the buyer could drive a tank into the former inn as part of the demolition. From 1926 to 1968 the hotel was operated as one of the famous Harvey House hotel and restaurants. The first photo is from the 1930s.    
Categories: Hotels | Leave a comment

Willard Hotel

Located in Washington, DC, the Willard was originally six buildings connected as one in 1860. It boasted telephone service in 1878, movies in 1897, and air conditioning in 1937. The current Willard opened in 1901 and served many dignitaries until closing in 1968. The hotel sat vacant for many years and was nearly demolished. After the owners aligned with the Intercontinental Hotel Group, the Willard underwent extensive renovation and was re-opened  in 1986. It received AAA's 4 Star Rating and has maintained that rating every year since. The first photo is dated 1860, the second 1900, the third 1910, and the fifth is from the early 1900s.              
Categories: Hotels | Leave a comment

Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel was built in 1912 before there even was a town of Beverly Hills. Shortly after completion it began to attract many Hollywood stars, i.e., Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Rudolph  Valentino, and Will Rogers. Harold Lloyd made part of a movie there in 1921, and an untold number of stars followed thereafter. Elizabeth Taylor spent six of her eight honeymoons there. The hotel closed from 1992 to 1995 for a $100,000,000 renovation. The first photo is dated 1912, the second 1921 (note position of the towers), the fourth 1925. The seventh shows Will Rogers in 1930 and then the pool in 1948.                  
Categories: Hotels | Leave a comment

Audtorium Hotel

Located in Verona, WI., the Auditorium Hotel was so named because of the many performers who appeared there over the years. It was a very popular stage stop and today is occupied by Cahoots Bar.  The first photo is from the early 1900s. The third photo is dated 1911; note the stables to the right.          
Categories: Hotels | Leave a comment