William Lee Stoddart

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This article is about the American architect. For the British philosopher, see William Stoddart.
William Lee Stoddart
W. STODDART 1921.jpg
Stoddart in 1921
Born November 3, 1868
Tenafly, New Jersey
Died October 2, 1940
New Rochelle, New York
Nationality American
Buildings Georgian Terrace Hotel, Winecoff Hotel (both in Atlanta);
Lord Baltimore Hotel (Baltimore)

William Lee Stoddart (1868–1940) was an architect best known for designing urban hotels in the eastern United States. Though he was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, most of his commissions were in the South. He maintained offices in Atlanta and New York City.

Stoddart attended Columbia University, although it is uncertain if he graduated. He then worked in the office of George B. Post for ten years before opening his own office.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Stoddart married Mary Elizabeth Powell in Atlanta in 1898, and they settled in Maywood, New Jersey. After approximately a decade of living together, they separated, a separation that became the subject of scandal in the New York newspapers. (At the time of the divorce, Mrs. Stoddart lived with her three children in Reno.) On November 1, 1909, she sued for divorce alleging “extreme cruelty.”[2] Shortly afterward, in late November Stoddart filed a countersuit.[3] He alleged that his wife’s attraction to one of his friends, Robert L. Shape, had led to the marital breakdown. During this era, when marital breakdowns were considered scandalous, the New York Times published three intimately personal letters from Mrs. Stoddart to Mr. Stoddart, in which she begged for a legal separation and financial support.[3]

According to Stoddart’s obituary, the divorce occurred in 1908.[1] However, when one considers the two articles published in 1909 describing the divorce lawsuit and countersuit,[2][3] it is likely that 1909 was the year the divorce actually occurred.

On July 19, 1923, at Asheville, North Carolina, William Stoddart remarried. His second wife was Mrs. Sabra (Wheless) Ballinger who died in 1934.[1]

Stoddart as a student at Columbia University
Sabra W. B. Stoddart

Although Stoddart spent his final years in Larchmont, New York, the actual location of his passing was the hospital in New Rochelle, New York, where he died of a stroke on October 2, 1940, at the age of 71.[1]

Approach to design[edit]

Stoddart took pride in the efficient, rational design of his hotels, which reflected the enthusiasm for scientific management of his era.[4] He expressed his approach to hotel design as a series of rules or formulas that would lead to maximum profitability. His design philosophy was similar to that of E.M. Statler's emphasis on efficiency in hotel architecture, except that Stoddart's hotels were smaller, less luxurious (e.g., not all guestrooms had ensuite bathrooms), and were in smaller cities.[4] Both Stoddart and Statler aimed their hotels at serving the market niche of traveling sales representatives.[4]

Notable commissions: Before 1920[edit]

Years in parentheses are the years of construction. In chronological order:

  • Browning School, Tenafly, New Jersey (1907): This 2½-story brick school was built at 27 West Chester Avenue (corner of Tenafly Road) in a style described as Second Renaissance Revival.[6] It has since been converted to residential condos, known as Browning House.
  • San Carlos Hotel, Pensacola, Florida (1909–1910): This seven-story hotel was at 1 North Palafox Street and had 175 rooms when opened,[7] later enlarged to 403 rooms during the 1920s. The hotel closed in 1982, and after a period of vacancy, was torn down in 1993.
  • Hotel Tybee, Tybee Island, Georgia (1911): This beach resort was the second hotel of this name on this site. It had 100 or 150 rooms (sources differ).[7] It was razed in 1958.
  • Dempsey Apartments, Macon, Georgia (1912): This nine-story apartment building was initially a 230-room hotel,[7] and is now used for seniors' apartments. The building has been known as The Dempsey and as the Dempsey Motor Hotel, and its address has variously been given as 515 Cherry Street and 523 Cherry Street. Some sources give its height as 11 stories, because a 1970s addition has more floors than the original structure.
  • Ponce de Leon Apartments, Atlanta, Georgia (1912–1913): This 11-story structure, still in use at 75 Ponce de Leon Avenue, is across Ponce De Leon Avenue from the Georgian Terrace Hotel (above), and was designed in a Beaux Arts and Renaissance Revival style. The second through ninth floors had two large apartments per floor, and the top two floors consisted of small "bachelor suites."[10]
  • Manger Hotel, Savannah, Georgia (1913): This ten-story building is located at 7 East Congress Street (address sometimes given as 36 Bull Street) in downtown Savannah. When it opened in 1913 as the Hotel Savannah, it had 200 rooms, with another 100 rooms in a 1921 addition.[11] Although originally a hotel, it is now known as the Manger Building and has been converted to offices.
Winecoff Hotel (now Ellis Hotel), Atlanta, Georgia
  • Winecoff Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia (1913): This 15-story building at 176 Peachtree Street NW was renamed the Peachtree on Peachtree Hotel in 1951, and after being empty for many years, it re-opened as the Ellis Hotel in 2007. In 1946, the hotel had suffered a disastrous fire, killing 119 people. Of the 119 deaths, 36 died from falling or jumping.[12][13][14] The hotel lacked fire escapes, and the sole staircase had no fire doors, which allowed the fire to spread rapidly from floor to floor.
  • Marion Building, Augusta, Georgia (1914): This 10-story structure, located at 739 Broad Street, was originally known as the Chronicle Building. After the city's 1916 fire, The Augusta Chronicle moved to 725 Broad Street, and the 1914 building was repaired and rechristened as the Marion Building.[15] The architects were William Lee Stoddart and Augusta architect G. Lloyd Preacher.[16]
  • Lamar Building, Augusta, Georgia (1913–1918): This 16-story office building at 753 Broad Street was named for Joseph Rucker Lamar, and was designed jointly by Stoddart with G. Lloyd Preacher, an Augusta-based architect.[17] The building took so long to build because its construction was interrupted by a major fire in 1916 that destroyed much of downtown Augusta. In 1974-1975, a penthouse was added, designed by I. M. Pei. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Tutwiler Hotel, Birmingham, Alabama (1914): This structure, which stood at the corner of 20th Street North and Fifth Avenue North, was demolished in 1974. The current Tutwiler Hotel is not the same structure even though it is in a historic building from the same era.
  • Connally Building, Atlanta, Georgia (1915): At 54 Peachtree Street (corner of Alabama Street), adjacent to the Underground Atlanta retail center, this building has been so extensively renovated that it bears little resemblance to the original design, other than the terra cotta facade on the lower stories. This was originally a six-story office building with a terracotta facade, which replaced an earlier Connally Building on the site.[18] In the 1980s, eleven stories were added and it was converted into a hotel.[19] It has operated under the names Howard Johnson Plaza Suites, University Place at Underground, The Suite Hotel at the Underground, and most recently it became a Fairfield Inn & Suites.[20]
  • Penn-Harris Hotel, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1918): This 12-story building was located at Third and Walnut Streets in Harrisburg. At its opening in 1918, it had 250 rooms, later expanded to 400 rooms after an addition was built in 1925. The hotel closed in December 1972 and was demolished in 1973.
  • O. Henry Hotel, Greensboro, North Carolina (1917–1919): This eight-story hotel had 170 rooms, each with bath or shower.[7][21][22] It was on the southwest corner of North Elm and Bellemeade Streets. Following a fire in 1976, the hotel stood empty and was demolished in 1979. This hotel should not be confused with a 1998 hotel of the same name, on a different site in Greensboro.
  • Hotel Farragut, Knoxville, Tennessee (1917–1919): This 9-story hotel[23][24] at West Clinch Avenue and South Gay Street was converted to offices and was known as the Farragut Building. In 2009 it reopened as a residential condominium building known as The Farragut.[25]
  • Montefiore Medical Center North Division Annex, Bronx, New York (1919): This three-story concrete building is at 4401 Bronx Boulevard, corner of Nereid Avenue (formerly 238th Street). It was originally built as a factory.[26]

Notable commissions: 1920 and later[edit]

Years in parentheses are the years of construction. In chronological order:

  • High Point Hotel, High Point, North Carolina (1920): This 9-story hotel at 400 North Main Street was later known as Sheraton Hotel High Point. It is now the Sheraton Towers, and serves as apartments for seniors.
  • Lycoming Hotel, Williamsport, Pennsylvania (1921): This 10-story hotel at 200 West Fourth Street currently operates as the Genetti Hotel & Suites. Reportedly his own daughter Allison Stoddart died in this very hotel. To this day she still haunts the hotel. She fell down the laundry shoot to her death. She was staying on the 8th floor in room 812. Guests staying in this room have reportedly told the workers about disturbances at night. Allison was playing a game of hide and seek. She loved to the play the piano, and is said to be heard playing by guests on numerous occasions.[7][27]
  • Hotel Pennsylvania, Bedford, Pennsylvania (1922): This 5-story hotel, later known as the Penn Bedford Hotel, still stands at 116 East Pitt Street and is now known as the Hotel Pennsylvania Apartments. T.W. Biddle, Jr., was listed as the architect and Stoddart as "consulting architect and engineer"[28] As built, it had 75 rooms with 45 baths, and a glass-covered roof garden.
  • San Juan Hotel, Orlando, Florida (1922–1923): Also known as San Juan de Ulloa Hotel, this nine-story structure was an addition to the existing 1885 hotel of the same name at the intersection of Orange and Central Avenues. The entire hotel was demolished in 1981.[30]
  • Bon Marché Building, Asheville, North Carolina (1923): Later known as Ivey's Department Store, and currently the Haywood Park Hotel. This four-story structure was Stoddart's only department store, and it was only in 1985 that it was converted into a hotel.[31] As the building is located on a corner, its address is variously given as 26-32 Haywood Street and as One Battery Park Avenue.
  • George Washington Hotel, Washington, Pennsylvania (1923): Located at 60 South Main Street, this complex included a movie theater which has been demolished, but the hotel itself continues to operate and has been renovated in 2007.[32] The hotel’s Oval Room, now a banquet room, had originally functioned as the theater foyer.
  • Hotel Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina (1922–1924): This 12-story, 250 room hotel opened in 1924 at 237 West Trade Street. The name Citizens Hotel was used in an early advertisement prior to opening.[7] In its early years it was known as the Selwyn Hotel, then the Hotel Charlotte. In 1961, it was renamed the Queen Charlotte Hotel, and later became the White House Inn. It closed in 1973 and was demolished in 1988, despite being listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[33][34]
  • John Sevier Hotel, Johnson City, Tennessee (1924): This 225-room hotel[35] is located at 141 East Market Street (corner of North Roan Street). In 1979, it was converted into seniors' housing and renamed the John Sevier Center. On Christmas Eve 1989, there was a major fire in which 16 people died.[36][37][38][39] The building continues to function as housing for senior citizens.
  • Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina (1924): This 12-story, 230-room hotel at 387 King Street currently operates as an affiliate of Historic Hotels of America.
  • Johnston Building, Charlotte, North Carolina (1924): Now known as Midtown Plaza, it is located at 212 South Tryon Street. At 15 stories, this was Charlotte’s tallest building when it opened; two more floors were added in the late 1920s. The lobby is particularly noteworthy because it runs the length of the building with marble columns, a marble staircase, and an arched, coffered ceiling. The building had been commissioned by Charles Worth Johnston (1861–1941), president of Johnston Mills Company in addition to other textile and banking interests.[40]
  • George Vanderbilt Hotel, Asheville, North Carolina (1924): This nine-story structure at 75 Haywood Street is now used as a seniors' residence known as Vanderbilt Apartments.[41]
  • Concord National Bank and Hotel, Concord, North Carolina (1925): This building at 2-14 Union Street North has a typical Stoddart facade of red brick with Georgian detailing.[43] One source lists Christopher Gadsden Sayre as "possible architect".[43]
  • McAllister Hotel, Hanover, Pennsylvania (1925–1926): This 5-story hotel, still standing at 11 York Street, has at various times been known as the McAllister Inn, Abbot House, and Homewood Retirement Center. As initially built, it had 75 rooms, of which 21 had baths or showers.[44] It is now used for seniors' housing.
  • George Mason Hotel, Alexandria, Virginia (1925–1926): This 6-story hotel at the corner of Washington and Prince Streets now serves as an office building. At the hotel's opening, it had 106 rooms, and publicity material emphasized that every room had a toilet (although not necessarily a tub and/or shower).[45]
  • Goldsboro Hotel, Goldsboro, North Carolina (1924–1926): This was a 200-room eight-story hotel, and for a period it operated as Goldsboro Motor Hotel. It was renovated for use as seniors’ housing in 1977, now known as Waynesboro House.[46] The structure is located at the intersection of Carter and Walnut Streets.
  • Patrick Henry Hotel, Roanoke, Virginia (1925): When it opened in 1925, this 11-story hotel had 300 rooms, all with bath or shower. A renovation in the late 1960s led to the rooms being joined together to form 121 one-bedroom apartments. The hotel, located at 617 South Jefferson Street, is on the National Register of Historic Places.[47] In October 2009, plans were announced to convert the building into apartments.[48]
  • Winthrop Hotel, Tacoma, Washington (1925): Currently known as the Winthrop Apartments, this 12-story structure is at 776 Commerce Street (also bounded by South 9th Street and South Broadway) in Tacoma.[49] It is remarkable for being so distant from the east coast where Stoddart's commissions were concentrated.
  • Virginia Dare Hotel, Elizabeth City, North Carolina (1927): This nine-story, 100 room hotel is at 106 South McMorrine Street, and is now used for seniors' apartments.[50]
  • Abraham Lincoln Hotel , Reading, Pennsylvania (May 1930): This impressive 16-story structure is located at Fifth and Washington Streets in Reading, PA. It is a registered landmark with the Historic Hotels of America and operates as a hotel to this day. Among its many amenities are overnight and extended stay suites, the Presidential Ballroom, conference meeting rooms, a restaurant, tavern, commercial spaces on the first floor, and an attached parking garage. This facility has been under extensive, careful renovation since 2012 to preserve its unique historical features and is the Reading area's only remaining historical landmark hotel.

See also[edit]

Winecoff Hotel

Gallery[edit]

Writings by Stoddart[edit]

  • Stoddart, W.L. (1923). "The hotel for the typical American city". Architectural Forum 39 (5): 245–252. ISSN 0003-8539. 
  • Stoddart, W.L. (1926). "Designing the small city hotel". Architectural Forum 44 (2): 109–128. ISSN 0003-8539. 
  • Stoddart, W.L. (1930). "The hotel for the small city". Architectural Forum 53 (4): 485–492. ISSN 0003-8539. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Barnes, Brooks (October 3, 1940). "William L. Stoddart, A Hotel Architect (Obituary)". The New York Times. p. 25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  2. ^ a b Barnes, Brooks (November 2, 1909). "Sues New York Architect: Mrs. William Lee Stoddart Applies for Divorce in Reno Court". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  3. ^ a b c Barnes, Brooks (November 28, 1909). "Ignored Wife's Plea for a Separation: William Lee Stoddart Makes Public Her Leers in Bringing Suit Against Her Here". The New York Times. p. 18. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  4. ^ a b c Mentzer, Marc S. (August 2010). "Scientific Management and the American Hotel". Management and Organizational History 5 (3–4): 428–446. doi:10.1177/1744935910361557. 
  5. ^ "NJ DEP: Historic Preservation Office: New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places: Passaic County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  6. ^ Rigney, Alice Renner; Paul J. Stefanowicz (April 2009). Tenafly. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 8 and 41. ISBN 978-0-7385-6224-7. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Advertisement by W.L. Stoddart". The Rotarian 20 (6): 273. June 1922. ISSN 0035-838X. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  8. ^ "The Georgian Terrace Hotel". City of Atlanta Online. City of Atlanta: Atlanta Urban Design Commission. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  9. ^ Craig, Robert M. (1995). Atlanta Architecture: Art Deco to Modern Classic, 1929-1959. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-88289-961-9. 
  10. ^ "Ponce de Leon Apartments". City of Atlanta Online. City of Atlanta: Atlanta Urban Design Commission. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  11. ^ Triplett, Whip Morrison (April 12, 2006). Savannah. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. pp. page 26. ISBN 978-0-7385-4209-6. 
  12. ^ Heys, Sam; Allen B. Goodwin (April 1993). The Winecoff Fire: The Untold Story of America's Deadliest Hotel Fire. Atlanta: Longstreet Press. ISBN 978-1-56352-069-3. 
  13. ^ "Peachtree Burning". Glass Mountain Entertainment (Los Angeles, California). 2003. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  14. ^ McElroy, James K. (January 1947). "The Hotel Winecoff Disaster" (PDF). Quarterly of the National Fire Protection Association 40 (3): 140–159. ISSN 0096-7106. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  15. ^ Lee III, Joseph M. (2000). Augusta in Vintage Postcards. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-7385-5420-4. 
  16. ^ Craig, Robert M. (2008-01-11). "The Arts: G. Lloyd Preacher". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Georgia Humanities Council. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  17. ^ "Lamar Building". National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  18. ^ "Connally Building" (1880s photo), Atlanta History Center
  19. ^ "Connally Building". Atlanta Time Machine. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  20. ^ Fairfield Inn & Suites Downtown Atlanta website
  21. ^ "American Memory: Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER): O. Henry Hotel (HABS #NC-233)". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  22. ^ "The O. Henry Hotel of Greensboro, N. C". Hotel Monthly 29 (338): 55–62. May 1921. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  23. ^ "The Hotel Farragut of Knoxville, Tenn". Hotel Monthly 27 (312): 42–49. March 1919. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  24. ^ "Floor Plans of Hotel Farragut of Knoxville, Tenn". Hotel Monthly 27 (313): 68–71. March 1919. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  25. ^ "The Farragut". Wood Properties, Inc. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  26. ^ Barnes, Brooks (1919-10-07). "Real estate field". New York Times. p. 32. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  27. ^ "The Lycoming Hotel, Williamsport, Pennsylvania". Hotel Monthly 30 (356): 48–54. November 1922. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  28. ^ "Plans for erection of new hotel about completed". Bedford Gazette (Bedford, Pennsylvania). 1922-01-22. ISSN 0744-8457.  As built, the hotel differed from the project described in the article.
  29. ^ Necciai, Terry A. (2006-10). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - First National Bank of Charleroi" (PDF). US Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-05-05.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  30. ^ Cook, Thomas E. (2005). "Orlando 1885". Orlando: A Visual History. Central Florida Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  31. ^ Angie Clifton, Marvin C. Housworth, Adam Ronan (2009). "Stoddart, William Lee (1868 - 1940)". North Carolina Architects & Builders: A Biographical Dictionary. NCSU Library. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  32. ^ McKay, Gretchen (July 8, 2007). "New owner is Restoring the 80-year-old George Washington Hotel". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PG Publishing Co., Inc.). Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  33. ^ Morrill, Dan L. (1982-08-04). "The Hotel Charlotte". Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  34. ^ Schick, Don (March 27, 2006). Charlotte. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. pp. page 78. ISBN 0-7385-4228-8. 
  35. ^ "Advertisement by The Hockenbury System Inc". The Rotarian 19 (1): 46. July 1921. ISSN 0035-838X. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  36. ^ "12 Killed in Fire at Nursing Home". New York Times (The New York Times Company). 1989-12-25. p. 19. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  37. ^ Applebome, Peter (1989-12-26). "Safety a Concern Before Tennessee Fire". New York Times (The New York Times Company). pp. A20. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  38. ^ "Arson Discounted in Fatal Fire". New York Times (The New York Times Company). 1989-12-27. pp. A21. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  39. ^ Price, Charles Edwin (July 1992). Haints, Witches, and Boogers: Tales from Upper East Tennessee. Winston-Salem, North Carolina: John F. Blair, Publisher. pp. 101–102. ISBN 978-0-89587-093-3. 
  40. ^ Gatza, Mary Beth (May 27, 1991). "Johnston Building". Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  41. ^ Terrell, Carole (May 25, 2008). "Revamped Vanderbilt Is Still Home.". Asheville Citizen-Times (Gannett Company, Inc.). Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  42. ^ "Historical Sites of Greenville County: Westin Poinsett Hotel". Greenville County Library System. Retrieved 2008-10-21. [dead link]
  43. ^ a b Clifton, Angie; Adam Ronan (2009). "Stoddart, William Lee". North Carolina Architects & Builders: A Biographical Dictionary. North Carolina State University Libraries. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  44. ^ "Hanover selects name for hotel". Star and Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania). 1925-05-02. 
  45. ^ Morales, Leslie Anderson (March 2005). "Alexandria Library: Document of the Month: March 2005: Stock Certificate for the Northern Virginia Hotel Corporation, 1920s". Alexandria (Virginia) Library. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  46. ^ "Goldsboro Wayne County (brochure)" (PDF). Goldsboro Wayne County Travel & Tourism (Goldsboro, North Carolina). Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  47. ^ Whitwell, W. L.; Lee W. Winborne (1991-08-29). "Patrick Henry Hotel, National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form" (PDF). National & State Historic Registers. National Park Service (US Department of the Interior) / Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  48. ^ Adams, Duncan (2009-10-28). "Historic Patrick Henry Hotel in downtown Roanoke checks back in". The Roanoke Times (Landmark Media Enterprises). Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  49. ^ Gallacci, Caroline; Patricia A. Sias (January 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form, Old City Hall Historic District, Tacoma, Washington, page 7" (PDF). US Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-04-07. Stoddart is misspelled as Stoddard in this document, but the document states the architect was "W. L. Stoddard of New York City" and lists other hotels he designed.
  50. ^ Webster III, Melville Jay (July 12, 2008). "Virginia Dare Hotel". The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth CIty, North Carolina. Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce / Melville Jay Webster III. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  51. ^ Morrill, Dan L.; Ruth Little-Stokes (1977-12-07). "The Independence Building". Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  52. ^ Gioulis, Michael (March 10, 1984). "Daniel Boone Hotel - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-11-17.