X – Hotels and Inns – Places on the Map That Offer a Sense of Place

th“It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.”
William Murtagh

My theme this AtoZ Blog Challenge has been about Hotels and Inns and their historical significance in the communities were they are set. What interests me is the architecture of these buildings and the architects who created them. I loved researching about the men who had a dream and set about to create it. Some of the places I have written about are personal to me. I have childhood memories of places like The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky and  The Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. I have glorious memories of garden tours that took me to The Francis Marion in Charleston, The Mayflower in Seattle. My second novel has scenes from the Raffaello Hotel in Rome.

I now live in a community that is being revitalized, building a future on an illustrious past that the railroad, tobacco, mill and banking helped to build. Blessed with an abundant inventory of architecture in the downtown historic core of the city, we have buildings and historic mansions in the area that could become The Queen Anne Hotel in New Orleans, The Victorian in Vancouver. Once there was a Ricks hotel in Rocky Mount.

This X post honors the hotels and inns that have come and gone.

Ricks Hotel

Ricks Hotel

Beyond the architectural splendor, interiors, appointments and room comfort, the heart of a hotel must surely be the people who create, staff, and visit from inception to closing. It is their memories that live on after the hotel is gone. We can just imagine the collective sigh across the city of Rocky Mount on Sunday morning, November 24, 1963, when the headline in The Rocky Mount Telegram, read…Ricks Hotel to Close Today After 54 Years. An obituary would read….The Ricks Hotel, Rocky Mount NC, born 1909, died 1963. Cause of death, end of useful years. This thought appeared in a news clipping from the Telegram on Wed., Dec. 4, 1963. I loved the clipping’s description of the hotels contribution to society. “A grand lodging for travelers for many years, home of some citizens, home of civic clubs, site of banquets, dances and other festive occasions, landmark for Rocky Mount and Eastern Carolina, meeting place for conventions and site of many events, which have given wonderful memories to those who knew it.”

I hope you have enjoyed this year’s theme. I invite you to continue FOLLOWING this blog that will revert to things you would expect a writer and gardener, addicted to books and reading, to post. I would hate to lose your company. Cheers!

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About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in A to Z Blog Challenge April 2016 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to X – Hotels and Inns – Places on the Map That Offer a Sense of Place

  1. D.B. Mauldin says:

    I will have to go back and read all of your posts. They sound very interesting!

  2. noelleg44 says:

    This is why I thoroughly applaud any developer who takes on an old hotel for refurbishing. Such a shame to lose our history.

    • The research is interesting about these old hotels & inns that get a new life breathed into them, important to the revitalization process of many communities. I have a whole new appreciation for preservation now. Thank you for leaving your comments during this year’s #Challenge. It enhanced my experience of the posts for sure.

  3. M Denise C says:

    It is always sad when they get rid of old buildings and hotels. They do that a lot here in Dallas. Thankfully, they have kept a few and are revitalizing some. I thought you picked a great theme and have enjoyed your posts!

    • Thanks Denise. I follow a Facebook page called Forgotten Chicago where they posts photographs of architecture etc. that still stands, but plenty of pictures of things that have been torn down. It is a sad moment looking at some beautiful structure that was not given a second chance at a new life. Glad we connected during the #Challenge.

  4. roweeee says:

    I absolutely love old architecture and come to think of it, anything antique or vintage.i collect antique china tea cups or trios. I love that old-worldiness of my grandparents’ era, although probably not the social inhibitions that came with them. While researching, Oscar Wilde, I came across an interesting story, which I thought you’d enjoy. He was diining at the Cafe de la Paix in Paris when they saw what look like a golden angel in the mist and they were all gobsmacked, thinking it was an apparition. However, it was the reflection of the golden angel on top of the Paris Opera across the road. There is a letter to and from Oscar Wilde and I’m not sure which one the reference is in but here’s the letter to: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/o-oscar-wilde-letters-to-dead-poets-atozchallenge/
    xx Rowena

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