Fenway Hotel

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Fenway Hotel

Fenway Hotel is a historic Jazz Age hotel building in Dunedin, Florida.

Construction[edit]

Building plans and funding plans were obtained in 1924[1] and construction of the hotel began the same year, before a hiatus due to financing problems.[2] Construction was completed in 1927.[2]

History[edit]

It remained open until 1961 when it became Trinity College. Trinity College moved to Pasco County in 1988. The Hotel remained vacant until 1991 when it was purchased by Schiller International University. The Tampa Bay Times called the hotel building Dunedin's "most historically valuable structure".[3] Herman Everett Wendell, who also designed the Suwannee Hotel (a landmark that was lost to development),[4] was the building's architect.[5]

The 110-room hotel was home to the first radio station in Pinellas County.[6][7] The building is a block steel construction. Guests included Harley M. Kilgore, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Stephen Early,[6] Alfred M. Landon, Charles Kettering,[8] Clarence Darrow, Alanson B. Houghton, James H. McGill and J.M. Donaldson.[9] Robert A. Bartlett, an arctic explorer, stayed at the hotel and presented a talk on his journeys.[10] Other guests enjoyed a Monkey golf tournament, where lots were drawn to determine what type of club would be used.[11]

As a private club in the 1950s, the hotel hosted an exclusive clientele of mostly Northerners during the winter months, changing owners in 1956 when it was bought for $300,000.[12]

Restoration[edit]

Plans to restore the hotel and add two independent wings to the building, creating "a hotel with 132 rooms, a spa, a ballroom and a 150-seat restaurant, all surrounded by lush landscaping and a 6-foot-tall masonry wall", developed in 2007, raising traffic concerns from some residents.[3] An earlier plan for a larger redevelopment was rejected.[13] Redevelopment of the Jazz Age hotel stalled in 2010 over legal disputes and a foreclosure proceeding.[14]

On June 13, 2014, the Taoist Tai Chi Society of USA purchased the hotel for $2.8M. It announced plans to restore the property which would run into the millions. [15][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Editor claims new hotel going up near Clearwater". The Evening Independent. July 5, 1924. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Expect Fenway to be ready for occupancy by mid-December". The Evening Independent. October 2, 1926. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Plans for Dunedin's Fenway by the Bay Hotel are moving forward". Tampa Bay Times. April 5, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ Musgrove, Eric. "History". Suwanee County Clerk of the Circuit Court. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Hotel Designer's Rites Tomorrow". The Evening Independent. February 25, 1937. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "C.T. Scanlan Buys Fenway Hotel". St. Petersburg Times. August 5, 1945. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Dunedin hotel changes hands". The Evening Independent. August 1, 1925. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Fenway Hotel starts 22nd year". St. Petersburg Times. December 31, 1950. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Fenway guests to linger late". St. Petersburg Times. April 1, 1937. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Famous explorer heard by guests of Hotel Fenway". The Evening Independent. March 21, 1940. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Novel Contest Held by Hotel Fenway Guests". The Evening Independent. February 27, 1932. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  12. ^ Hill, Norma Jean (August 23, 1956). "Fenway at Dunedin sold for more than $300,000". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  13. ^ El-Khoury, Tamara (May 17, 2007). "Developer scales back project". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  14. ^ Harwell, Drew (February 10, 2010). "Developer for Fenway hotel in Dunedin hit with foreclosure lawsuit". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Taoist Tai Chi Society to Locate National Headquarters and International Conference Center in Tampa Bay Area". Herald Online. June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ Frago, Charlie (June 13, 2014). "Fenway Hotel bought by Tai Chi nonprofit for $2.8 million". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 17, 2014.