Historic Structures

Commodore Perry Hotel, Toledo Ohio

Following in the tradition of the Oliver House, the Boody House Hotel (demolished), and the Secor Hotel, the Commodore Perry Hotel is the fourth in a series of large-scale, architect designed, luxury hotels constructed in Toledo between 1859 and 1930. These hotels were developed with the intention of improving amenities while expanding the city's travel and convention business. Daniel Boorstin, writing about hotels as social centers has called them "Palaces of the Public." "In the period of most rapid urban growth, it was not by churches or government buildings but by hotels that cities judged themselves and expected others to judge them." President Herbert Hoover, in dedicating the Waldorf-Astoria in 1931 stated that "Our hotels have become community institutions. They are the center points of civic hospitality. They are the meeting place of a thousand community and national activities.." They incorporated the latest styles in hotel architecture, the newest developments in guest amenities, and brought a sense of luxury to their guests. They also served as centers for Toledo society. When the Commodore Perry was constructed in 1927, it was the "largest hotel between Chicago and Cleveland and one of the largest in the country" (Blade, 1/17/27) and the largest building (by square foot) in the City of Toledo (Blade, 1/17/27). Riding the crest of a wave of prosperity that engulfed Toledo in the early 1920s, the seventeen-story, 500 room luxury hotel was championed in the Toledo Blade as a means "to commemorate Toledo's civil, commercial, and industrial progress" that would carry Toledo "from the class of the big town to [that of] the metropolitan city" (Blade, 1/17/27). The four million dollar structure, with its ballroom and shopping arcade, was a showplace that soon became the new social and business center in the heart of Toledo. Lots 204, 205, 206, 207 of the Port Lawrence Addition, where the Commodore Perry Hotel is now located, were part of the original plat of the City of Toledo when it was incorporated in 1837. As the city developed, the lots were bought and sold by some of Toledo's most prominent citizens including Charles B. Phillips, owner of the city's first railway car company, the Toledo Car Works; Israel Hall, a partner in Toledo's first luxury hotel, the Boody House; James B. Steedman who gained fame as "Old Chicamauga," General of the Fourteenth Ohio Volunteers during the Civil War; and Dennis Coghlin, a partner in the firm of Jacobi, Coghlin and Company, one of Toledo's first brewing companies and the producers of Buckeye Lager Beer. The Polk Directories from the early 1900s list 501 Jefferson (lot 205) as the location of the Buckeye Liquor store, quite possibly a retail outlet for Coghlin's brewery.


Jacobson Schoolhouse - Hinkhouse School, Armour South Dakota

State legislation passed in 1880 provided that a township could establish as many schools as needed, as long as they were at least two miles apart. By 1926, Jacobson School was formed and constructed. Built in 1926, the school's simple one-room, hipped roof design was typical of late nineteenth century schoolhouse design in South Dakota. Often comprised of donated materials and erected with voluntary labor, it was common for communities to construct schoolhouses with a familiar form and known practices. The design of these structures relied heavily upon the established architectural styles familiar to its builders, primarily settlers who had emigrated from New England and the Midwest. The rural schoolhouse was also viewed as a cultural symbol of the community, giving it a strong connection to the church. Because of this connection, characteristics of the typical rural schoolhouse reflected familiar church architecture. Described as aesthetic, they were simple one-room structures built on temporary foundations with balloon framing, uninsulated weatherboard siding, wainscoting on the interior, and heated by a central stove. According to A Context for Education Development in South Dakota, "a schoolhouse that was well-appointed and carefully constructed, adapting architectural styles familiar to settlers from the East, symbolized the ideal of the community school. Simplicity in design and use of modest materials in construction of the school, however, always reflected the material limitations inherent in Plains settlement." The Jacobson School's design and construction reflects these characteristics.


Washington Hotel - Cadillac Hotel, Greenville Texas

The Washington Hotel in Greenville, Hunt County, Texas, is a six-story reinforced concrete building with a brick veneer and classical terra-cotta detailing, designed for mixed residential and commercial use, with retail spaces occupying the ground floor. Completed in 1926, it filled a long-standing need within the growing community of Greenville for a modern hotel, and stood as a testament to the transformation of Greenville's downtown during the first decades of the twentieth century. The city of Greenville was founded in 1846 as the county seat of newly formed Hunt County. Greenville grew slowly until the 1880s, when five major railroads, the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Extensions Railway (1880), the East Line and Red River Railroad (1881), the Dallas and Greenville Railroad (1886), the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (1887) and the Texas Midland Line (1896), extended through the city and transformed it into a bustling railroad hub and cotton market. The city's downtown developed around the courthouse square bounded by Lee Street, Johnson Street, Washington Street, and Stonewall Street. By the late 1880s, a vital commercial district had emerged along Lee Street and around the square, with drug stores, dry goods and clothing stores, grocers, agricultural implement shops, jewelry stores, three daily newspapers, a post office, and an 800-seat opera house. At the turn of the twentieth century, Greenville was a booming cotton market town, referred to by many citizens as the "Gateway to East Texas" and the principal city of one of the richest counties of blackland prairie in the state. In a campaign for good roads funded by Greenville merchants during the early 1910s, concrete roads were poured that led into the city from six different directions. Greenville citizens also lobbied successfully to have the Jefferson Highway, a project of the National Auto Trail system that stretched from New Orleans to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, routed through their city, further increasing traffic through Greenville's growing local business district. By the 1920s, the city boasted a population of over 12,000 people, forty-six manufacturing plants, thirty-seven wholesale houses, and 375 commercial establishments. Greenville was home to the Greenville Compress Company, which broke world records in the 1910s for number of cotton bales compressed, and the Texas Refining Company, which was said to be the largest cotton seed oil refining plant in the world.