Historic Structures

Building Description Robbins Hotel, Beatrice Alabama

The Robbins Hotel is located on a large rectangular lot in the center of Beatrice which is a town about 20 miles north of the Monroe County seat of Monroeville. Louisville and Nashville Railroad tracks form the eastern boundary of the property passing about 200 feet to the rear of the hotel. The hotel faces Highway 265 which was the old thoroughfare through town until interstate highway connectors diverted traffic east of Beatrice.

The Robbins Hotel is an approximately 40' x 50' two-story, hipped-roof structure with a one-story gabled extension to the southeast. The primary mass rests on brick piers and new timber pilings.

Built about 1840 the earliest portion of the house was a primitive six-room dwelling with wide central dogtrot. Its wide, pine board construction (10"-18" random width wall and ceiling boards) is still evident as are crude dado, four panel interior doors, 6 1/2" pine floors and two original Carpenter lock sets. Three country interpreted Federal mantels also remain. The only exterior evidence of the original nucleus is, however, random first floor 9/9 wooden sashed windows.

About 1905 when the Robbins home evolved into a boarding house/hotel, a second floor was added to the building which gives it its present identity. Beaded pine walls, 3" pine flooring and brick mantels characterize the interior of the addition. It was perhaps at the same time that the kitchen/dining room wing was added.

This two-room addition extends approximately 40' south from the southeast corner of the house and is positioned so that it seems to face the railroad tracks to the east, although two gable dormer windows added in the early 1950s seem to reorient the wing to the west. The addition rests on timber pilings with brick piers around the periphery.

The exterior of the three-bay hotel is characterized by full two-story porches at the front and rear with double-door openings at both levels, in the front and on the first floor in the rear. One interior brick chimney survives on the south side of the house and serves four fireplaces. The twin brick chimney on the north side of the house has been capped in the attic. Most of the windows have 6/6 and 9/9 wooden sashes but there are a few 4/4 placement windows.