Dixie Walesbilt Hotel
Dixie Walesbilt Hotel
|Location||Lake Wales, Florida|
|Architect||Fred A. Bishop|
|Architectural style||Masonry Vernacular with Mediterranean Revival elements|
|MPS||Lake Wales MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||90001273|
|Added to NRHP||August 31, 1990|
The Dixie Walesbilt Hotel (also known as the Grand Hotel, or Walesbilt) is a historic hotel in Lake Wales, Florida, United States located at 5 Park Avenue West and/or 115 North 1st Street. The Walesbilt Hotel was renamed the Hotel Grand by the New York owner Victor Khubani during the 1980s. The structure was built in 1926 after a stock-sale campaign in the local business community. It opened on January 14, 1927, two years before Edward Bok's famous Bok Tower was completed nearby. Original owners included then Governor Martin of Florida and silent screen star Thomas Meighan along with a consortium of other actors/actress' including Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow as well as famous Hollywood attorney Nathan Burkan and Hollywood Producer Victor Heerman.
The interior of the building was even more ornate than the exterior. It featured shopping arcades, Italian-made ceilings and column capitals, a drinking fountain by Ernest A. Batchelder, Georgia Pink and Vermont Verde antique marble floors by Georgia Marble Company, a wrought iron balustrade, and a central mezzanine. Construction is of steel-reinforced poured concrete in post-and-beam method, without bearing walls. The building suffered only superficial damage during the hurricanes of 2004.
In 1995 it was sold at auction and closed. The interior was partially dismantled for reconstruction, which was never completed. In February 2010, a redevelopment agreement was proposed between the City of Lake Wales and a private sector developer to return the hotel to its original finishes and repurpose the building as residential units and 19,500 square feet (1,810 m2) of commercial space.
- "National Register of Historical Places - Florida (FL), Polk County". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-03-06.
- "Grand Hotel". Florida Heritage Tourism Interactive Catalog. Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs. 2007-03-06.
- Polk County listings, Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs
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