Saturday, July 9, 2011

The St. Louis Hotel - by special request........

These first two pictures, one from the horse and buggy days and the other from the early 1930's show where the St. Louis Hotel was....on the corner of Victoria Ave and North St.  It was an icon of the hotel and dining business for many years and the building was actually 113 years old.  During that time it went through many changes in its architectural look, mainly the removal(or change) to the mansard style roof on the 3rd floor as seen in the first photo, and later the squaring off of the first floor windows.  The brick was also painted a number of colours through the years, the final colour being a creamy yellow as shown in the 3rd photo.

This is how the old place looked days before its demolition.
This is how the property looked shortly after demolition.

This is a Victoria Ave. view of the property as it looks today.  The Royal Theatre was just next door and next to the Royal was the Commerce Bank.  Both those buildings stand today but the Commerce Bank is just a facade and completely empty behind.
 Here is a menu pad from the famed "Little Red Room", and a menu cover from the Beacon Room.  My parents frequented the restaurant there in the 1950's and was consided one of the best places to eat here at the Lakehead cities of Fort William and Port Arthur.  A page from the Beacon Room bar shows a shot of Rye for 44 cents, Rum at 45 cents and cocktails between 65 cents and one dollar.

Here are a couple of match book covers from The Little Red Room showing two different phone numbers and both being pre 1960.  The entrance for the bar and restaurant was off North Street.
I can't believe that it was demolished 6 years ago time flies. 
To read the article from the paper, you will have to click on each half to read the left then right column.  Be sure to click twice on all photos and clippings to enlarge them.

Typically our city tears down historic buildings before the so-called bleeding hearts can complain enough to save them.  It has happened many times in the past and many others are noted in this website.  As noted in the above article, historic buildings are tourist attractions but here in Thunder Bay, they just tear them down.  Just drive around our city and see the new construction that has taken place in just one year, over the top of many of our historic structures. 


Jon Hendel said...

Thank you for your posts... you really make a young guy like me appreciate this history of my city. Actually makes you kind of sad seeing how beautiful the architecture in this place was. Too bad we have lost the realization that architecture creates civic pride. I'm sure our big boxes won't do that for generations to come. (if they last that long)

Dave said...

Thanks for your comments, Dave

Anonymous said...

Though when the "Louis" was not exactly the best bar when I visited there when it was open, it could have been much more. So much more. It's too bad the last owner didn't take better care of the place.