Historic Structures

New Albany Hotel, Albany Georgia

Date added: July 9, 2019 Categories: Georgia Hotel Georgian Revival

The New Albany Hotel was one of two major hotels built in Albany during the 1920's. By this time Albany had become the hub of railroad transportation in southwest Georgia, serviced by seven rail lines and over thirty-five trains daily. It was a regional trade center, and these first-class hotels were built to accommodate the tourists, business people and traveling salespeople whose presence in town was stimulated by the railroads. The hotel was a major downtown commercial venture. It was completed in 1925 shortly after the elegant Hotel Gordon opened nearby on Pine Avenue, next to the county courthouse. A hotel had been located on the New Albany Hotel site since before 1886. The owners of the then wood frame New Albany Hotel, spurred on by the competition, determined to build an equally modern and elegant facility. The westerm portion of the old hotel was torn down (the eastern portion remained standing, adjacent to the present building, for many years) and was replaced with the new structure. It featured tubs and shower baths, telephones in every room, hot and cold water and the finest furnishings and other modern conveniences. The hotel also housed several local businesses including offices, shops and restaurants. The cost of the building, $425,000, was the largest amount issued in an Albany building permit during 1925.

The hotel was an instant success. With its large restaurant and ballroom it bacame an important center of social life in Albany during the 1920's and 1930's. Sunday dinner in its dining room was an Albany tradition for many years while it remained an elegant hostelry.

It is now being used as an apartment complex known as The Flats @ 249. It was previously being used as a senior living facility known as Albany Heights.

The New Albany Hotel, built in 1925, is a six story Georgian-Revival style building located on a corner lot in downtown Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia.

The structure is built of terra cotta block dressed with brick on a concrete and steel frame. The lower five stories are sheathed in tapestry brick laid in Flemish bond; the sixth floor is veneered in brick laid in a Dutch Cross bond. The hotel is symmetrically laid out, with very restrained decorative touches, in typical Georgian Revival style. The original building is "T" shaped in plan. In ca. 1948 a three-story addition extended the leg of the "T" to the rear, and several other one-story additions were built around it. The front facade is divided vertically into three sections by the use of stone quoins at the corners and at the edges of the slightly projecting middle bay. Horizontally, the facade is divided at the first floor by the full-width front porch and at the sixth floor by the large round arched windows and Dutch Cross brick work which are set between a string course and the cornice. The Doric porch is supported at the center by two large brick and stone piers, and elsewhere by wood columns. A wooden balustrade, originally graced with large urns, tops the porch. Protected by the porch, the first-floor front facade features a continuous series of windows and doors set into large openings with side lights and fanlights. The central main entrance is a door topped by a broken pediment which is framed by one of the fanlights. The east end of the porch has been enclosed to form a restaurant area. Windows throughout are eight-over-eight double hung sash with varying trim. Those on the third through fifth floors have stone sills and brick lintels. On the second floor the windows have surrounds featuring quoining on the sides and a stone lintel with keystone decoration above. On the sixth floor the round arched window openings (the original fanlights above the sash have been replaced with solid panels) have the same side quoining with keystones highlighting the brick arches. The building is topped by a pedimented parapet with a garlanded cartouche, A west side entrance on the leg of the "T", with a portico with segmental pediment, has lost prominence due to the encroachment of a one-story 1940's office addition to the north.

The interior layout reflects the "T" shaped plan. Guest rooms, all with private baths, on the upper five floors open off both sides of a "T" shaped corridor. On the ground floor a lobby, office, restaurant, small stores and a ballroom open off a central corridor which runs the length of the hotel, A large kitchen is located in a one-story area on the east side. The ca. 1948 additions at the rear house the expanded ballroom and 1600 square feet of office space. Upstairs rooms are finished simply with plaster, paint and wallpaper. On the ground floor the main corridor is arched at intervals. The lobby area has exposed cypress ceiling beams which give it the feeling of an English great hall. The area around the reception desk has been remodeled with pine paneling. The elevators are original.

The New Albany Hotel is located at the corner of Pine Avenue and Jackson Street in downtown Albany. The hotel almost completely fills the lot on which it sits. Boxwood and other shrubs are planted in the front along Pine Avenue and small trees grow along Jackson Street. On this corner and along both streets are numerous commercial and institutional buildings dating from the Victorian period to the 1970's. West of the hotel, across Jackson Street are the Municipal Auditorium (1918) and the Carnegie Library (1906), Across Pine Avenue is the Rhodes Furniture Building and a two-story office building, both of which date from the 1910's and 1920's.