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SPIRITS of the Season 2008

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History of the Pennsylvania Hotel (Marriott Downtown St. Petersburg)

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SPIRITS of the Season 2008

  1. 1. SPIRITS of the Season 2008: Courtyard by Marriott Research by: Mary Noell, Verna Peddi, & Brandy Stark
  2. 2. The Case Years: 1911-1930 <ul><li>In 1911 HARRY CARVER CASE, his wife ELIZABETH and their 2 daughters, left PENNSYLVANIA for ST PETERSBURG where he was to oversee the streetcar system. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptions exist of him (including a registration that he completed for military service on Sept. 12, 1918). He was short and stout, with brown hair and brown eyes. Age: 43 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He was living in the ROSER PARK AREA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SECRETARY/MANAGER of the WEST COAST TITLE COMPANY on CENTRAL AVENUE.   </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Build up to the hotel <ul><ul><li>The post World War I tourist season was excellent in St. Petersburg (1918 – 1919). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nov. 24, 1924, Gandy Bridge opened. This was “responsible for raising the boom to its dizzying apogee of 1925. Real estate prices between the bridge and downtown St. Petersburg skyrocketed as entrepreneurs scrambled to take advantage of the seemingly inevitable development of previously unpromising properties.” St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream: 1888-1950. by Raymond Arsenault, 1996. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>St. Petersburg was unique as it survived the 1921 unnamed hurricane that created John’s Pass and recovered quickly. It cleaned up the city and rebuilt the Pier in time for tourist season. This made St. Petersburg seem much more impervious to wind and water damage, and a safer haven than other parts of Florida. St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream: 1888-1950. by Raymond Arsenault, 1996. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Million Dollar Pier
  5. 5. Announcement to the Hotel <ul><ul><li>By the 1920s Case was an abstractor, soon to become an officer in a St. Petersburg Bank (St. Petersburg Census Records). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JUNE 18, 1925: Case announced that he was building a 7 story Chicago-Styled hotel with approximately 100 rooms on the northwest corner of 3 rd Avenue North and 4 th Street North. This was the birth of the Pennsylvania Hotel. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Pennsylvania Hotel <ul><li>FRANK MASON, the architect of the Mason Hotel (later: the PRINCESS MARTHA) and the St. Petersburg Yacht Club was hired to design the art deco hotel. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Pennsylvania Hotel <ul><li>Cost: $325,000 </li></ul><ul><li>The Pennsylvania opened with great fanfare: March 5,1926 </li></ul><ul><li>The lobby was full of flora arrangements and with orchestra music filling the hotel. </li></ul><ul><li>The manager: L.G. Davis (he and his wife greeted the guests) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Pennsylvania Hotel <ul><li>The rooms had all of the modern conveniences of the day to include steam heat, telephones, soft-water service and private baths. </li></ul><ul><li>That same year the Pennsylvania hosted the famed New York City Cora Belle Morse, who conducted rehearsals for the Opera Pandora in the hotel parlors. The lead roles were filled by well-known New York actors Clifford Cunard and Enda Fox Zirkel. Over 150 others, known both locally and nationally, were cast by Ms. Morse at the hotel for various parts in the opera. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Pennsylvania Hotel <ul><li>By 1927, Case was president of the FIDELITY BANK AND TRUST. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The hotel had grown to include various small shops that adjoined it for the convenience of the guests. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These included the Pennsylvania Drug Shoppe , the Curly Cue Beauty Shoppe , the Pennsylvania Barber Shop , and a laundry service. Just past these establishments was the Pennsylvania Annex Apartments from 318 to 330 4th Street North. A well-attended restaurant (later: Key Stone Club ) also opened along with a news stand and coffee shop. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All of these properties existed post-2005; they are apart of the hotel’s new wing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Shops associated: Barber Shop <ul><li>Barbershop: Run by father and son </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Full service shop (women as well as men) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bill Metz, the son, took over in 1947 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictures of baseball players and games adorned the walls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contained a chandelier with baseballs in place of light fixtures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pete Rose and Ted Williams had hair cut there </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1993, charged $3 for haircuts (because a lot of older men were on pensions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Interview by Jacquin Sanders, Aug. 15, 1993, St. Petersburg Times. “Something He Can’t Cut: Memories”) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 1920s St. Petersburg <ul><li>From “Florida’s Depression,” St. Petersburg Times . A reprint of a series of articles written by Nelson Poynter (later St. Petersburg Times Editor) about 1920s Florida, pre- and post- Crash. (Reprinted Nov. 30, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Room Prices Drop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ In the summer of 1925, the prevailing prices for any kind of bed in almost any kind of a hotel ranged from $7 to $20 per day.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rooms for $18/day pre-crash went for $1.50/day post-crash </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ For $5 a day, rooms and meals are available in some of the most luxurious hotels ever built.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Golf courses charged $1.00 - $.50 a day, and did not recommend tipping caddies as this “spoiled them” for residents who could not afford to do so. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 1920s St. Petersburg <ul><li>Fishing cost $.50 - $1.00 (pre-bust “it required influence and much cash to promote a fishing party.” </li></ul><ul><li>Sailing became popular because “it is not an expensive sport.” </li></ul>Newspapermen Mark Ethridge (L) and Nelson Poynter comparing newspaper stories during an Editors' & Writers' Franchise Meeting. Location: Atlanta, GA, US Date taken :December 1944 Photographer:Ed ClarkSize:1201 x 1280 pixels (16.7 x 17.8 inches) http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=5ef75c7fd6483ba4&q=Nelson+Poynter&usg=__RVhSjBT81Zba_gxOGQ_qLrgp5Wk=&prev=/images%3Fq%3DNelson%2BPoynter%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG
  13. 13. Post Crash Pennsylvania <ul><li>The aftermath of the October 1929 Stock Market Crash raged across the country and St. Petersburg felt the affects. </li></ul><ul><li>Banks closed, properties faced foreclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Case lost his hotel only 5 years after its grand opening. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1930, Sam Cary, Case’s son-in-law (by his eldest daughter, Jeanne), was manager of the hotel. Harry and his wife, Elizabeth, continued to live in the hotel. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elizabeth sponsored a girl scout troup (Troop #2) in the hotel. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, Harry Case was unable to deal with the loss. Died a broken man in 1930. </li></ul><ul><li>Grandson, SAM CARY JR, stated in an interview that his grandfather’s loss of the hotel had &quot;put him out of his mind” and that Harry Case had “never fully recovered.”  </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Bond Years: 1937-2000 <ul><li>In 1937, the Pennsylvania Hotel was bought by Ninian Ulysses Bond, Sr. at a tax sale. The purchase literally took place on the courthouse steps. </li></ul><ul><li>Cost: $150,000. </li></ul><ul><li>The Pennsylvania became the first of several hotels owned by the bond family over the years. </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Bond and his 3 sons (twins, William and Sam, and Ninian Jr.) continued to run the business for decades as a season hotel. </li></ul>
  15. 15. 1930s St. Petersburg
  16. 16. The Bond Years <ul><li>The atmosphere of the hotel during the Bond era was one of closeness of the staff with the winter visitors who came back year after year to stay at the Pennsylvania. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Season began around the first of November and ended the first of May. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seasonal guests would put down deposits on rooms for the following year and leave winter clothes and other articles there for their return. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><ul><li>For service, the Bond family would pick them up at the airport, take them on side trips to Sunken Gardens and other local attractions, and even drive them to their doctor appointments. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The rooms were always taken,” said John Thornton, who owned the Hitching Post Produce from 1931 to1949. ”Boy, did I furnish the hotel restaurant with produce.” (Symbol of 20’s Golden Age Tied to Family’s Fortune” by Scott Taylor Hartzell. St. Petersburg Times, Neighborhood Times. Oct. 16, 2002). </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Bond Years <ul><li>In World War II, the Pennsylvania became barracks for the troops stationed in St. Petersburg. (Only one hotel, the Suwannee, was not commandeered during the War).  </li></ul><ul><li>As time went on the seasonal hotels in St. Petersburg began to close or change to year-round status. </li></ul><ul><li>The Pennsylvania was the last of the seasonal hotels, staying as such until the winter of 2000, when the Bonds sold the hotel to David Moore. </li></ul>
  19. 19. St. Petersburg: WWII Soldiers training in Vinoy Park. www.stpete.org.historic.html
  20. 20. St. Petersburg: Central Ave. 1940s
  21. 21. St. Petersburg: Al Lang Field, 1947
  22. 22. Sunken Gardens (1950)
  23. 23. The Moore Years <ul><li>David Moore planned on changing the hotel into a boutique style hotel or hotel or into condominiums. The renovation was to begin shortly after the sale. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>September 11, 2001: credit dried up and Mr. Moore was forced to change his plans. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2002: David Moore was interviewed again about he plans for the hotel. He still planned to convert the building into condos. In the article, it was revealed that the building had a basement and that he planned to use that for individual wine cellars. (NOTE: SPIRITS inquiry into this showed no basement). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For years, the fate of the hotel remained in limbo. </li></ul>
  24. 24. The Moore Years <ul><li>2004: Designated a historical site when the Downtown district was named to the National Register of Historic Places </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.nr.nps.gov/iwisapi/explorer.dll?IWS_SCHEMA=NRIS1&IWS_LOGIN=1&IWS_REPORT=100000039 </li></ul>
  25. 25. The Hotel Today
  26. 26. The Marriot Years <ul><li>2005: THE MARRIOTT COURTYARD announced the purchase of the hotel and plans to build a new 7 story hotel beside it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plans also made to conserve the historic beauty of the original building in the renovations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In restoring the hotel, some walls were knocked down to increase the size of some rooms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On most of the floors, the original doors have been left, but sealed, when the rooms were enlarged. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some rooms even have the transom window frames in place, though also sealed. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The original elevator with new electronics still runs in the lobby next to the original beautiful pink marble staircase. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. SPIRITS in the hotel <ul><li>HOTEL REPORT (11-30-08) </li></ul><ul><li>*Seeing a shadow/shadowy figure(s). *Peripheral vision manifestations. *Cold drafts or cold spots found only in a certain location. *Doors opening or closing without assistance. *Abnormal behavior of telephones. *Whispering. *Unexplained Voices. *The sensation of being watched when no one is present. </li></ul>
  28. 28. SPIRITS in the hotel <ul><li>*The sound of children playing in the laundry room and the GM office. </li></ul><ul><li>*On the 2nd floor the sound of a antique phone dialing was reported. </li></ul><ul><li>*Thing usually happen between 1 am - 5 am. </li></ul><ul><li>*During the day, the staff report a strange feeling by the 6th floor historic side closet. </li></ul><ul><li>*On the 2nd & 3rd floors, we get reports of seeing “something” in white. </li></ul><ul><li>*Sometimes, when a person pushes a button for one floor the elevator will go to all the floors and open the door for reasons unknown. </li></ul><ul><li>*Whispering and the sounds of kids playing have been reported on several occasions. </li></ul>
  29. 29. SPIRITS in the hotel <ul><li>*When I try to go in a room on the 2nd 3rd floor, my key will not open the door.  However, I will try the room next to it and have no problem opening the door. </li></ul><ul><li>TIME LINE </li></ul><ul><li>*10/23/07: The phone from room 220 rang.  The room was vacant at the time; this goes on all the time. * Room 215 there have been several occasion we are unable to get in the room. </li></ul><ul><li>*11/11/07, 11/13/07, 11/16/07: We had a guest check in to room 717 and the next morning he ended up in room 217.  His room key was programmed only for room 717.  It should not have opened the door for room 217. </li></ul><ul><li>*11/15:  A guest told us we had trapped spirits in the hotel.  </li></ul><ul><li>*11/16 sometime on the 5th floor the elevator will open and stay open until someone gets on. </li></ul>
  30. 30. SPIRITS Pre-Investigation <ul><li>http://centralflghosts.homestead.com/SPIRITSoftheseason.html </li></ul>
  31. 31. SPIRITS Pre-Investigation <ul><li>1 st Floor: Dining room area: Orb images </li></ul>
  32. 32. SPIRITS Investigation
  33. 33. SPIRITS Pre-Investigation Conference Room
  34. 34. SPIRITS Pre-Investigation <ul><li>Stair well to 2 nd Floor </li></ul>
  35. 35. SPIRITS Pre-Investigation <ul><li>Sound file (audio file on website) </li></ul><ul><li>Paranormal Puck session </li></ul><ul><li>Room 212 (Beth); group explored </li></ul><ul><li>Theory: First Floor related to houses that were possibly on property before hotel? </li></ul>
  36. 36. Works Cited <ul><li>Seasonal SURVIVOR Series: CONNECTIONS 1. [0 SOUTH PINELLAS Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: TOM ZUCCO Date: May 8, 1996 Start Page: 1.D Section: FLORIDIAN    Old hotel to reopen as . . . er, ah, new hotel Series: NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESS 1. [STATE Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: </li></ul><ul><li>SHARON BOND Date: Dec 20, 2000 Start Page: 3 Section: NEIGHBORHOOD TIMES         </li></ul>
  37. 37. Works Cited <ul><li>Prima donna element shakes up local opera 1. [STATE Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: SCOTT T. HARTZELL Date: Apr 25, 2001 Start Page: 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Section: NEIGHBORHOOD TIMES Old hotel in downtown St. Petersburg to go condo 1. [STATE Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: SHARON L. BOND Date: Sep 15, 2002 Start Page: 5 Section: NEIGHBORHOOD TIMES Symbol of '20s golden age tied to families' fortunes Series: HISTORY </li></ul>
  38. 38. Works Cited <ul><li>1. [STATE Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: SCOTT TAYLOR HARTZELL Date: Oct 16, 2002 Start Page: 5 Section: NEIGHBORHOOD TIMES Pennsylvania Hotel will reawaken as Marriott </li></ul><ul><li>1. [STATE Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: SHARON L. BOND Date: May 4, 2005 Start Page: 5 Section: NEIGHBORHOOD TIMES Marriott to retain some flavor of Pennsylvania Hotel </li></ul>
  39. 39. Works Cited <ul><li>1. [STATE Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: PAUL SWIDER Date: Aug 2, 2006 Start Page: 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Section: NEIGHBORHOOD TIMES Historic hotel back in business 1. [STATE Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: PAUL SWIDER Date: Oct 18, 2006 Start Page: 3 Section: NEIGHBORHOOD TIMES   ALSO </li></ul><ul><li>Yesterday’s St. Petersburg By Hampton Dunn, 1973. </li></ul><ul><li>St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream: 1888-1950. By Raymond Arsenault, 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>www.spiritsofstpetersburg.com </li></ul>

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