Building Description Ormond Hotel, Ormond Beach Florida
The Ormond Hotel was a massive, white, frame vernacular structure. It sat on a thin peninsula and overlooked the Halifax River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Irregular in plan, the building expanded from a four-story ell-shaped central block, built in 1888, to its final size with the addition of three wings, built in 1902 (north wing), 1904 (south wing), and 1905 (west wing).
The central core resembled a U-shape which opened to the east. At the two corners of the U, stood round towers. The northernmost tower, approximately thirteen feet in diameter, extended above the fourth story of the block, and was topped with a belvedere with a conical roof. The south tower, although equal in diameter to the north tower, was not as tall and was surrounded by a two story veranda. This tower had a low-pitched conical roof. A balcony ran the length of the fourth floor of the west facade and a veranda followed along the first story. Until 1905, this veranda also skirted the north tower. Square columns with decorative bracketing delineated each bay of the nine-bay west facade on both the fourth floor balcony and the first floor veranda. A two-story ambulatory in the plan of a T, extended from the center of the east side of the central block. A belvedere was centrally located on the roof.
The north wing, or Flagler wing, was five story and T in plan. The intersecting gable roof had regularly spaced hipped dormers. The building was of utilitarian design and void of exterior ornamentation. Although window spacing is regular, windows were spaced closely lending the appearance of a continuous band.
The west wing, or Rockefeller wing, projected from and eliminated the original 1888 entrance. A covered passageway between the two sections eliminated a gabled entrance pavilion. The rectangular five-story hipped roof section had regularly spaced windows and dormers. A pavilion stood on the southeast roof corner of the wing. The wing was surrounded by a free standing, two-story ambulatory. The ends of the ambulatory extend from the round towers of the original block. The main entrance was located in the ambulatory as it projected from the south round tower. A brick stairway with wrought iron railings lead to the second floor of the ambulatory. The entrance was marked with a sign reading "Ormond Hotel".
The four-story south wing was the simplest element of the structure. This addition had regularly spaced windows and was topped by a centrally located belvedere. At one time, two square towers were located at the southern corners of the wing, but were removed to allow for the widening of the adjacent Granada Boulevard.
The Ormond Hotel also had several connected and separate support facilities and buildings. Projecting from the southeast corner of the original block was a two-story chapel, which once served as the hotel ballroom. This section was located on what was originally the hotel's salt water swimming pool (eliminated in 1930). A connected kitchen was located on the northeast side of the north wing. Other buildings included a power house, laundry, former casino and servants barracks, and at one time included the Ormond Garage (destroyed by fire in 1976) and horse stables.
The structure and complex maintained its basic 1905 appearance. The 1905 structure, except for the original section, was finished in clapboard siding and painted "Flagler" yellow. The 1888 section was sheathed in wood shingle The entire structure was later finished in white asbestos shingling.
Functionally, the north, south, and west wings housed the majority of the hotel's guest rooms, with some spaces utilized for offices and storage. The ground floor of the southern round tower at one time was used as part of the bar and lounge area. A steam powered elevator operated in the original wing providing access to all floors. The first floor served the daily operating affairs of the hotel. The entire first floor of the north wing was utilized as a dining room while the original section was used as a lobby. The ballroom was located adjacent to the lobby area. The second floor and above floors were utilized as guest rooms.
The lobby was the only room with any architectural distinction. The ceiling had large coffered areas which are defined by classically detailed partial entablatures (frieze and cornice). Square piers with pilasters on each face stood at the intersection of boxed ceiling beams. The main staircase ascended from a corner of the lobby. A molded wood chair rail around the lobby wall delineated a plain plaster dado.
When the hotel was demolished he site was limited to the hotel with its wings, the powerhouse and approximately ten acres of land. Originally, the 80 acre complex included a golf course and the additional facilities previously mentioned. These (casino, laundry, stables, garage, grandstand, barracks)disappeared at unknown dates.