Historic Structures

Blenheim Hotel, Atlantic City New Jersey

Four years after the Marlborough was completed, the Children's Seashore Home property across Ohio Avenue came up for sale. Popular tales recount that the owners offered the land to Josiah White and, when he was not interested, suggested that an amusement company would be glad to take the property. At that point, of course, White reappraised the situation and bought the property. In fact, the Marlborough Annex Company acquired the land, and in the summer, William Price, working as Price and McLanahan, Architects, was asked to make the plans for a new building. In the four years since the completion of the Marlborough, a number of significant events had occurred that shaped the new building. First, was the success of the Marl borough, demonstrating that the public's appetite for luxury was not diminished, and forcing White to demand a mode of construction that would have minimum impact on his clientele. Second, in 1902, a portion of Atlantic City was destroyed by a fire that wrecked White's own Luray Hotel and many others east of Kentucky Avenue. The danger of fire had been a serious concern of the resort industry for half a century, with three memorable fires in nearby Cape May to serve as reminder to the public. It could be anticipated that the new hotel would be of fireproof construction. The choice between steel and the new technology of reinforced concrete was resolved for the Blenheim by the danger of a steel strike in the Fall of 1905, and by Price's experience with reinforced concrete in the Jacob Reed's Sons' store of 1903-04 in Philadelphia. There, Price had demonstrated the material's appropriateness for public buildings—instead of restricting it to industrial design—and had found it to be a relatively quiet mode of construction, certainly less noisy than the riveted steel of contemporary practice.

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Marlborough Hotel, Atlantic City New Jersey

In 1900, nearly a half century after the Dennis was established, Josiah White, owner of the Luray Hotel and a Quaker, acquired the property of the school and the Convent of the Sacred Heart for a new hotel. That year, he retained Philadelphia Quaker William L. Price (1861 - 1916), previously designer of additions to the Luray as well as architect of the new dining room for White's cousin Daniel White's neighboring Traymore Hotel. Price had already established a reputation as a hotel architect with the chateau style Kennilworth Inn of 1890 at Asheville, North Carolina, which received much attention in the architectural press. During the last decade of the nineteenth century, Price's various firms provided plans for the additions to several Atlantic City hotels as well as another in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1897. Price's decision to design a shingled chateau style hotel on the beach may seem something of an anomaly, particularly in light of his theories about the Kennilworth Inn, whose similar style was influenced by the mountainous site. The obvious conclusion is that the hotel's style was determined more by the now conventionalized use of the chateau style, which had spread from the Kennilworth to the 1892 wing of the Dennis, and beyond to Bruce Price's great Chateau Frontenac in Quebec. Moreover, the style had a significant advantage for the hotel's operation, for the variety of spaces and porches, and the hierarchy of spaces rising up into the great roof all made for a visual representation of status, emphasizing the social eminence of the guest as clearly as the various classes of accommodation on an ocean liner.

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Dennis Hotel, Atlantic City New Jersey

Of the three hotels the Dennis is the oldest by virtue of its succession to the buildings constructed on the property acquired by William Dennis just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. After the war ended, the cottage was acquired by Joseph H. Borton, who extended it along Michigan Avenue. Although nothing of the original cottage survives, the early building had long lasting effects on the eventual hotel, determining by the location of its public rooms, the future development of the site. That first hotel was pictured in an engraving in Heston's Handbook of Atlantic City, 1892. It showed a threestory, L-shaped, frame structure with porches surrounding the Michigan Avenue front. The ell extended across the property and fronted on the lawn. The porches caused the volume of the hotel to be set back from the street, with the consequence that the later porchless Michigan Avenue extension did not line up with the earlier parts. A part of this 1870's building still remained in 1978, attached to the hotel by a short spur wing, its set back'from the demolished porches. Although the chamber partitions had been removed when the rear wing was converted to storage spaces leaving only the corridor walls and the original doorways, enough survives to give a sense of the accommodations. Rooms were a generous fifteen feet deep, but varied in width from seven to fifteen feet, in accordance with late nineteenth century standards. The contemporary Congress Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey, for example, had bedrooms that averaged nine by twelve feet, a far cry from current casino hotel requirements. Finishes were simple — sawed pine floors, plaster walls and ceilings, accented by broad, deeply shaped moldings around doors and windows.

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Stanford-Lathrop Mansion, Sacramento California

The original owner and builder of the house was Shelton C, Fogus, a pioneer merchant of Sacramento. Fogus was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1817; he was a veteran of the Mexican war and painted a large scene of the fall of Col. John Hardin at the Battle of Buena Vista (1847), which he later took about the country. In 1856, Fogus bought two lots at the southeast corner of 8th and N streets, in Sacramento, from William Dodd; Fogus then built a small structure on the property at an estimated cost of $2,000. In 1857, Seth Babson (born 1828 in Maine, died 1907 in California) was commissioned to design a fine house of brick and plaster. This house and property were deeded to Leland Stanford for $8,000 cash in 1861. (The sale was executed on July 10, but recorded on July 11. The assessor's records indicate the sale of lots 1 and 2; see Book 31, p. 78. $8,000.00 was less than the 1858 assessed valuation of the property. Shelton Fogus left Sacramento in 1862 to seek his fortune in the Comstock; he became a founder of Reno, Nevada, and made and lost two small fortunes in that area.) On September 4 1861, Leland Stanford became Governor of California, after having once failed in the effort. His inauguration took place on January 10, 1862. Returning from the inaugural ceremonies in a row boat (the winter of 1861-62 saw severe flooding of Sacramento), the Governor found his new house inundated to the level of the parlor windows; some of the furniture was floating in the first floor rooms of the two-story house. (The Stanfords had previously occupied a modest house on 2nd Street, between 0 and P; Leland had been trained as a lawyer in New York state, but came to California in 1852 and opened a general merchandise store at Gold Springs, near Placerville. He moved to Michigan City, California, until 1855, when he went to Albany to get his wife, Jane Eliza Lathrop.)

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Kingston Train Station, South Kingston Rhode Island

In the 1830s, the principal mode of travel from Boston to New York was by stagecoach to Providence, with transfer to steamer from Providence to New York. As the ride could be difficult and the route often compromised by weather, it became increasingly apparent that alternative land-based transportation was a necessity. In 1835, the Boston and Providence Railroad was opened from Boston to India Point, east of the Providence Harbor. A second rail line on the west side of the harbor, the New York, Providence, and Boston Railroad opened in 1837 from Providence to Stonington, Connecticut. This line was known popularly as the Stonington Line. Passengers travelling through were ferried across the harbor between the two lines until 1847 when they were joined. The final allrail route between Boston and New York was not completed until 1889 when the drawbridge over the Thames River between Groton and New London, Connecticut was completed. In 1892, the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad leased the New York, Providence, and Boston, and in 1893 acquired the Boston and Providence line, subsequently operating the run between Boston and New York. The opening of the railroad to Stonington in 1837 was an important occasion for South Kingstown, for it made the small town one of the first in the nation to be served by this relatively new means of transportation. The first American passenger train had begun operation seven years earlier and there were only 2,000 miles of track in the United States at the time. The new railroad was put through what was to become the village of West Kingston. The first Kingston depot was built west of the tracks to the north of Waites Corner Road, an east-west thoroughfare in the village. At the time, there was a store adjacent to the depot and a neighboring residence, otherwise the area was undeveloped.

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Westerly Train Station, Westerly Rhode Island

Much of Westerly's historic period development is owed to its location on major transportation arteries that linked the major cities of the Northeast. Located on the headwaters of the Pawcatuck River, the most significant river route in southern Rhode Island, the city initially served as an important waterborne travel and shipping point for the surrounding countryside. By the mid-seventeenth century, a system of roads, including Post Road (U.S. Highway 1), was established and connected Westerly with Providence and Boston to the north and New York to the south. Settlement, however, remained sparse in the small village until the mid-nineteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution began to gather steam. Westerly's position as a shipping center was augmented by the completion of the Stonington and Providence Railroad (S&P) through the village in 1837. The 47-mile Stonington Road was constructed only two years after the opening of New England's first railroad, the Boston and Providence (B&P). Before the establishment of those rail lines, travel between New York and Boston was difficult. The overland route along winding Post Road took several days to complete. Ship travel, while faster and more comfortable, required rounding the arm of Cape Cod, a dangerous journey during storms. The B&P line provided the first viable alternative to ship travel around the Cape. After its completion, goods were transported by rail to India Point in Providence and offloaded onto ships bound for New York via Narragansett Bay. The completion of the Stonington Road made the trip faster and safer by allowing shippers to bypass the sometimes treacherous sea passage around Point Judith at the southwest corner of Narragansett Bay and providing direct access to the relatively calm Long Island Sound.

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Westmoreland Glass Company – Specialty Glass, Grapeville Pennsylvania

The Specialty Glass Company was organized about 1889 and was originaly located at East Liverpool, Ohio. The plant made cream pitchers, goblets, tumblers, and glass novelties. In 1899 Specialty Glass Company moved to Grapeville because of the abundant natural gas supply there. The firm also acquired house-lots that it auctioned off to its employees, and glass workers were allowed to pay out their mortgages in monthly installments from their wages. After the West Brothers and Ira A, Brainard of Pittsburgh gained control of the company, the company's name was changed to the Westmoreland Speciality Glass Company. The company produced condiments, such as vinegar, baking powder, and mustard, and glass items containing candy during the First World War. During its last thirty years the principal products of the Westmoreland Glass Company were milk glass reproductions. The company's chicken and animal covered dishes and other vessels of gleaming milk glass were produced until the factory closed. The factory employed 3 09 workers in 1916, 380 workers in 1919, 231 workers in 1931, 197 workers in 1935 and 133 workers in 1947. In 1982 the factory ceased production. The Westmoreland Glass Company complex is situated on Brush Creek and adjacent to the mainline of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Grapeville. Hot Metal Shop: red brick, common bond with corrugated sheet metal covering sides and upper level; one-and-ahalf stories with full basement; gable roof of sheet metal has monitor with casement windows; rubble stone foundation; two brick stacks with decorative brick dentil work. Interior: wood trusses and timber post and beam structural system in original building; steel Howe and steel frame structural system in addition; two sixteen-pot furnaces of common bond brick, one is original, one was rebuilt in 1950; furnaces supported by massive pilasters in basement; brick floors; glory holes for reheating glass; loft used for formers, fitters and snaps; original molds in the mold cleaning shop. Machinery: early H.L. Dixon Company lehrs. Machine Shop/Mold Shop: red brick, common bond; multipaned double-hung arched windows with triple brick voussiors; brick bearing walls with timber post and beam system; roof has timber rafters; pattern shop has many original patterns and an early milling machine. Mixing. Resorting, Warehouse, Packing, and Storage Buildings: three interconnected buildings facing the railroad tracks, one housed the kilns and lehrs, one an office and the last addition, a carpenter shop with original gift shop; red brick, common bond; one story with full basement; rubble stone foundation; brick bearing walls with timber post and beam structural system; brick vaults in basement; multipaned casement windows; original kilns from 1889 and pan lehrs from 1940. Decorating Room and Cooper Shop/Gift Shop: red brick, common bond; one story with full basement; multipane double-hung windows with double voussiors. Mold Storage, Packing, and Printing Buildings: four additions to the rear of original buildings ca. 1920s; red brick, stretcher bond; 1 story with full basement; Machinery: 1930s decorating lehr. Blower House: red brick, common bond; one story; two Sturtevant #8 Blowers.

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