Abandoned Queen Anne hotel in Florida

Bishop-Andrews Hotel, Greenville Florida
Date added: December 19, 2022 Categories: Florida House Hotel Queen Anne
North elevation (1989)

The community, known today as Greenville, was settled as Sandy Ford in the early 1850s, and a post office was first established there in December 1851. The Pensacola and Georgia Railroad moved eastward into the area around 1859. Growth, however, did not take place until after the Civil War.

Elijah James Hays was one of the first prominent land owners in Sandy Ford. He moved there after the war, during the early 1870s, and began his enterprises, which included a general mercantile store; a drug store, for which he was the pharmacist; a brick yard; a cotton gin; a grist mill; a cotton warehouse; a turpentine still; and large farms. In April 1876, the name of the community was changed to Greenville, after the city in South Carolina, the original home of many of the early settlers. As the official surveyor for the area, Hays laid out the plans for the Town of Greenville. In 1886, the community had a population of 300 and supported a steam saw mill, two schools, a church, four general stores, and one hotel called the Redding House. Greenville's growth was further promoted by Hays in 1901 when he granted the South Georgia Railway great financial support and donations of right of ways during its expansion from Quitman, Georgia, to Greenville. In 1906, Hays founded the Bank of Greenville and served as its president. Greenville was incorporated as a town the next year.

Greenville was a prosperous mill town and trading center for the surrounding farming community through the 1950s, with several veneer and lumber mills in operation. It also served rail travellers and motorists on U.S. 221 and U.S. 90 which was the main artery for travelers across the Florida Panhandle. With the curtailment of passenger rail service in the 1950s and the completion of I-10 north of U.S. 90 in 1973, however, Greenville lost most of its outside patronage. Today, Greenville is a small farming community with one veneer mill and a population of about 1100.

Jesse W. Bishop was a prominent farmer and businessman in Greenville. In 1902, he had a hotel built on the site of Elijah Hays' old brick yard, located just one block from the railroad station. The Bishop family maintained the Bishop Hotel as well as a cotton gin and livery, and Bishop was vice president of the Bank of Greenville when it was founded in 1906. In 1925 Bishop sold the building to G. Frank Andrews who continued to operate it as the Andrews Hotel. Andrews also was the mayor of the Town of Greenville from 1930-31, and served in the Florida legislature, as a senator from 1931-33, and as a representative in 1941.

The Andrews Hotel served both local citizens and transients. There were several schools in Greenville during the mid-twenties, and many of the teachers boarded there. Other patrons included workers associated with the construction of U.S. 90 c1930. Besides being a hostelry, the Andrews Hotel served the community of Greenville as a center for memorable occasions. Weddings, community meetings, family dinners, and social teas were held there regularly.

The Andrews Hotel was operated by the Andrews family into the mid-1950s. In 1954, Andrews sold the hotel to his daughters, and Grace Andrews Strupp made it her residence until 1987. She sold the building in 1988, and it has stood vacant since then.

The Bishop-Andrews Hotel is the only example of Queen Anne style architecture in Greenville, Florida. The enthusiasm of the late nineteenth-century builders and architects for the Queen Anne style is clearly expressed in the picturesque massing and inventive detailing used on the three-story hotel. The size of the dwelling and the craftsmanship demonstrated in its construction attest to the prosperity of the Bishop family and the abilities of the architect and local labor force.

The exterior of the hotel has classic Queen Anne features, such as a wrap-around porch with a round element crowned with a conical roof and crocket, patterned shingles, and an asymmetrical roof with various kinds of dormers.

The interior of the hotel is particularly noteworthy for its variety of finely executed ornamentation. Paneled wainscoting is found in nearly every public room on the first floor, and door surrounds with carved corner blocks are found throughout the first and second floors.

The most distinctive feature of the foyer is the main stairway with finely crafted balusters). Two three-part panels of stained glass light the stairwell. Adjacent to the stairway is an inglenook which is also lighted by stained glass windows. A fine dentil cornice and molding surround the foyer and is repeated in the adjoining parlor.

The central feature of the parlor is an angled alcove with another three-part panel of stained glass. A mantelpiece with delicately executed Classical features is located in the same room. Pocket doors lead into the dining room, the most elegantly decorated space in the hotel. A stained glass window is set in the south wall, and there is a built-in china cabinet. The ceiling is surrounded with a deep molding accented with unusual jigsaw work and a fine beaded cornice. The most impressive feature, however, is a "wedgewood" ceiling. Molded strips of wood have been applied to the beaded ceiling to create a diamond patterned grid, and a diamond-shaped medallion is placed in the center of each space.

The guest area on the second floor is less elaborate than the public spaces on the first floor. Continuity is achieved, however, with the repeated use of paneled wainscoting and decorative corner blocks on the doors and windows. The extreme simplicity of the third floor reflects its function as living quarters for the support staff of the hotel.

Building Description

The Bishop-Andrews Hotel is a square, three-story, wood frame structure with a complex roof configuration. The complex roof system includes an asymmetrical central hipped roof with a jerkin-head, off-center clipped cross gables, and various styles of single, off-center dormers with casement windows. The roof has broad eaves with exposed rafter ends, and is sheathed with asphalt shingles. Four brick chimneys pierce various slopes of the roof; two of them have decorative corbelling. Most of the house is covered with horizontal, drop siding; however, patterned shingles (diamond, fish scale, and staggered) cover the gable ends and the entrance pediment of the west facade.

The first story of the main facade (west elevation) is distinguished by an attached porch that extends across the facade and wraps halfway around the north and south elevations. The porch has a shed roof supported by six pairs of round Doric columns. The columns which flank the main entrance are arranged in groups of three, and support a pedimented entrance to the porch, on axis with the main entrance to the building. The central placement of the main entrance adds a sense of balance and order. The pediment of this Classical feature is sheathed with fish scale and diamond-patterned shingles. The second story of the main facade has a projecting clipped gable centered over the main entrance. Its pediment is sheathed with diamond and fish scale shingles. A circular element, with a low-pitched conical roof topped with an iron crocket, is located at the northwest corner of the porch.

Fenestration of the first floor is irregular, while that on the second and third stories is symmetrical. There are a total of thirteen double-hung sash windows on the west facade. On the third story there are casement windows within the gable ends. These third story windows are each separated by decorative brackets similar to the exposed rafter ends.

The south elevation has a continuation of the wrap-around porch with two sets of paired columns. A simple chimney extends from the slope of the gabled roof. The southwest corner of the first floor is clipped and has a horizontal stained glass panel with three sections. An additional horizontal stained glass panel is located in the midsection of the first floor of the projecting three story east bay. The third floor of this bay repeats the west elevation's projecting jerkin head gable and twin casement windows. A French door with a fixed transom opens onto the porch at the first floor level.

The east (rear) elevation lacks the architectural detailing of the other elevations. It has three double hung sash windows; a gabled dormer; and an attached, one story, enclosed/screened porch with a metal shed roof. A brick chimney projects from the south end of the porch. A temporary, open shed is attached at the northeast corner at the rear of the building.

The north elevation has many of the same features seen on the south and west elevations. The wrap-around porch continues and terminates at the midsection of the elevation. Two doors open onto the porch; one is wood-paneled, and the other is a French door. Two horizontal stained glass windows, each with three individual panels, are located on the first and second stories. There is a shed-roofed dormer with casement windows at the third story.

The interior of the Bishop-Andrews Hotel provides a showcase for detailed, Classical features. Floors throughout the building are hardwood; the width of the floorboards varies from room to room. Ceilings are sheathed with tongue-and-groove boards.

The first floor has a central hall that runs the length of the building. The main (west) entrance opens into a foyer that has paneled wainscoting with plastered walls above; dentil molding just below the cornice molding; and a heavily carved stairwell with wainscoting, carved balusters, and three square newel posts with paneled sides. The stairway initially has a quarter-turn change stair and landing, and continues as a dog-leg stair to the second floor. Attached to the ceiling, just above the first floor newel posts, are two square pendants similar to the newel posts. To the north side of the open foyer is an inglenook set off by a half wall pierced with arches. Two short columns with entasis support the arches. Behind the arcade is a fireplace with a simple mantle on the north wall. On the west wall of the inglenook is a three-panel stained glass window, and to the right of the fireplace is a French door. A large archway in the middle of the central hall defines the eastern limits of the foyer. The east end of the hallway, where there is a small, quarter-turn stairway to the second floor, is partitioned off.

The south side of the foyer opens into a parlor. This room has plaster walls, a thick cornice molding and dentil molding. An alcove in the southwest corner of the parlor highlights a horizontal stained glass window with three sections. Thick mullions separate the three sections. Four decorative corner blocks embellish the upper corners and tops of the mullions. The stained glass design is geometric and floral. Soft muted hues of blue, yellow, burnt umber and blue-green are used throughout the panels. A fireplace with a finely detailed mantelpiece is located in the southeast corner of the parlor. Two Slender, fluted Corinthian columns, a curvilinear mantel supported by a decorative bracket, and a rectangular mirror give the mantelpiece a Classical form. A tile hearth extends from the fireplace.

To the east of the parlor is a dining room. The two rooms are separated by pocket doors. This room contains a variety of elaborate woodwork. The ceiling is embellished with a diamond-shaped pattern created by wood molding placed to form a diagonal grid. There is a decorative square medallion at the center of each diamond of the grid. Located below the cornice molding is a jigsaw border. Walls in the dining room are finished with plaster and paneled wainscoting. There is a single-panel stained glass window flanked by single double-hung sash windows on the south wall. On the east wall are a paneled door that leads from the dining room to a pantry/kitchen, a built-in china cabinet, and a single double-hung sash window. Decorative corner blocks, like those in the parlor, are placed on all of the window and door trims. A fireplace with a simple mantelpiece is located on the west wall.

Two irregularly shaped bedrooms and a bathroom are located on the north side of the central hallway, in the northeast corner of the first floor. A paneled door leads from the west bedroom onto the porch on the north elevation. A small kitchen and pantry occupy the southeast corner of the first floor.

The second floor is accessed by two stairways. A quarter-turn, service stairway leads from the rear of the central hall, and the grand stairway is in the main foyer. The stairwell of the grand stairway is lighted by two horizontal panels of stained glass. Like the other panels located in the parlor and dining room, a floral pattern is combined with geometric shapes. Corner blocks with a star motif are present on the trim of these panels. The carved balusters of the stairway create a visual line that is both aesthetic and functional.

The second floor has a total of seven rooms; five of the main bedrooms have fireplaces. A bathroom is located in the southeast corner. Each doorway on the floor has a paneled door with a working transom, corner blocks with a star motif, and molded trim. Hallways are finished with wainscoting and plaster or sheet rock. Each room on the second floor exhibits detailed woodwork. The rear service stairway opens onto the floor just north of the bathroom.

The third floor is accessed by a straight, narrow, steep stairway located on the west side of the second floor. There are six rooms at this level. These rooms have lower ceilings and lack the finished woodwork seen on the first and second floors. Walls and ceilings of the third floor are tongue-and-groove. Casement windows are used in the majority of the rooms. Wash basins were originally in each room, and there are several still attached to the walls.