The Antler Hotel

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The intersection of Main Street and Park Avenue was home to three inns or hotels.

Main Street had been paved in 1897.

The intersection of Main Street and Park Avenue was home to three inns or hotels from 1840-1900s.

The northeast corner was originally the location of the Sandford House which was built in 1836. In 1906 the Allison building was now located on the site of the Sandford House or Inn.

The building with the portico and columns on the left of Main Street near the middle of the photograph belongs to the Sandford House.

On the southeast corner was the old Ward Residence built in the early 1840s.
On the southeast corner was the old Ward Residence built in the early 1840s. After the Wards moved to their more elaborate home on Brown Street in 1862, this house was used as a hotel for many years until it was torn down in 1918 for the Dollar Bank Building. PO1.912

The southwest corner was built as a hotel in 1842 and purchased by the Harris Family in 1865 who occupied it until 1905.The southwest corner was built as a hotel in 1842 and purchased by the Harris Family in 1865 who occupied it until 1905. From then until 1920, it was used as a store and warehouse.

The photograph on the left shows the newsboys in front of the newstand where the Harris House was located.
Photo CA 1915



In 1920, the Harris heirs sold it to the Niles Trust Company. In 1930 the Niles Bank Building was completed on this site.



54 lots platted by James Heaton in 1834

Of the 54 lots platted by James Heaton in 1834, lot 43 and 44 at the north east corner of Main Street and James Street(Park Avenue) were deeded to A. Kingsley.

In 1836, L.W. Sandford built the Sandford House which is highlighted in red below in a section of the Panoramic View of Niles, Ohio, 1882.

The Sandford House appears to have a covered porch facing James Street and two additional add-ons forming a 'U' shape with an open area in between the additions.
In 1836, L.W. Sandford built the Sandford House which is highlighted in red below in a section of the Panoramic View of Niles, Ohio, 1882.


Advertisement for Sandford House Livery.
Advertisement for Sandford House Livery.

From 1836 when the Sandford House or Inn first opened until the Allison Hotel was built in 1906, the mode of local transportation was generally by horse-drawn carriage or on horseback.

The first trains arrived in Niles in the mid-1850s and provided city-to-city travel. Streetcars became available in the late 1880s and provided point-to-point transportation. However, horses still provided the main transportation to locations that were unavailable to trains and streetcars.

The Sandford House provided livery service whereby travelers could rent a carriage or horse for travel, parties, and funerals.


A letter mailed September 24, 1895 with the letterhead of the Sandford House.

A letter mailed September 24, 1895 with the letterhead of the Sandford House.

A letter mailed September 24, 1895 with the letterhead of the Sandford House.

The letter reads:

"Sept. 24, 1895

Mr. Andrew Steffen.

Dear Friend.

A few lines to ask you a favor. I have sent several letters to and (sic) old friend of mine S. E Watson. The puck and judge advertiser and knowing he collects off you every week I have use this method of finding him so would like you to hold the letter sent in your care for him untill (sic) he calls to collect and handed to him as I have important business with him and would like to hear from him at once.

But haveing (sic) lost his address so happening to think of you thought I could trust your kindness to hand him the letter to oblige.

Yours most respectfully, J. B. Myers 134 Huron St., Cleveland, Ohio.

N.B. was a former citizen of Indianapolis and a ready smoker of old Tishmingo cigars and if Watson left the city please let me know at once by postal card.

A letter mailed September 24, 1895 with the letterhead of the Sandford House.


Postcard view of the Allison Hotel, CA 1908.Postcard view of the Allison Hotel, CA 1908.

According to several 'old-timers', the Sandford House was not actually torn down; instead the new hotel was built around it and the old Sandford Inn became part of the new Allison Hotel.

Comparing the Panoramic View of Niles map above to the postcard on the left, it appears that the previous entrance on James Street, now Park Avenue, was changed to face North Main Street with areas for shops on the ground level.

 

 

The Allison Hotel lobby floor

The Allison Hotel lobby floor appears to be small marble tiles, set into a pattern, chosen for its durability and ease of maintenance. The furniture appears to be in the 'Craftsman' style using oak hardwood and leather which is also durable.

As a side note, The McKinley High School which was under construction in 1914 also had this type of tile floor, except a with different pattern.

McKinley High School became Edison Junior High School in 1958 and was demolished in 2004.


The view looking diagonally across Main Street from the construction site reveals that the name of the Allison Hotel has been changed to Hotel Heaton.

Construction of the Niles Bank Company began on November 25, 1929 and was completed in early 1930.

The view looking diagonally across Main Street from the construction site reveals that the name of the Allison Hotel has been changed to Hotel Heaton.

P01.21


Location of the Antler Hotel prior to 1976.

Location of the Antler Hotel prior to 1976.

The Antler Hotel as it appeared in 1974 prior to demolition during urban renewal which occured in 1976.The Antler Hotel as it appeared in 1974 prior to demolition during urban renewal which occured in 1976.


Mervyn's Jewelry and the McKinley Restaurant were earlier businesses located in the first floor shops on North Main Street side of the Antler.
P01.161

The Parkway Restaurant, Soriano's and Rice Electric were stores located on Park Avenue near the Antler.
P01.146

Mervyn's Jewelry and the McKinley Restaurant were earlier businesses located in the first floor shops on North Main Street side of the Antler.

The Parkway Restaurant, Soriano's and Rice Electric were stores located on Park Avenue near the Antler.


Photographs showing the demolition of the Allison Building in 1976 during urban renewal.
S03.85
Photographs showing the demolition of the Allison Building in 1976 during urban renewal.
S03.87a

Photographs showing the demolition of the Allison Building in 1976 during urban renewal.

The buildings in downtown Niles had virtually remained unchanged after the McKinley Memorial(1917),the Dollar Bank Building(1918) and the Niles Bank Building(1930).

Different businesses and ownership may have changed over the course of time, but the same buildings remained at their location in downtown Niles.

 

Photographs showing the demolition of the Allison Building in 1976 during urban renewal.
S03.82
Photographs showing the demolition of the Allison Building in 1976 during urban renewal.
S03.88

In 1962, a fire destroyed Hoffman's Deparment Store and two adjacent businesses, Ragazzo's and Pritchard's clothing stores.

Many residents consider the 1962 fire and urban renewal as the cause of the demise of Niles' downtown area.

Also, the introduction of several strip malls, especially the Eastwood Mall, in this time period certainly added to the loss of businesses in the downtown area.

Lack of downtown parking with the traffic patterns also influenced people in their shopping preferences.


The northeast corner of Main Street and Park Avenue that the Sandford House, the Allison Hotel, the Hotel Heaton, and finally the Antler Hotel had occupied for 140 years is now the site for the Main Place Building.

The northeast corner of Main Street and Park Avenue that the Sandford House, the Allison Hotel, the Hotel Heaton, and finally the Antler Hotel had occupied for 140 years is now the site for the Main Place Building.

The Main Place Building is occupied by several small businesses; a dance studio and a Subway sandwich shop, among others.

The McKinley Memorial and the William McKinley Research Center are two downtown historical attractions for visitors to enjoy.

The Ward-Thomas Museum on Brown Street offers many artifacts of the time period from the early 1800s up to the present day.

     
     
 
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