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Grand Imperial Hotel

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1883, John Griswold. 1219 Greene St. (corner of 12th St.)

Boosters of out-of-the-way towns like Silverton built grand hotels to bring the world, or at least some investors, into town. Englishman Charles S. Thomson built this grand hotel, a two-story Italianate building with a mansard third story and prominent battery of gabled dormers. Wrought iron columns separate first-floor plate glass storefronts. Above a first story of square-cut, irregularly coursed ashlar are a second story faced in brick with rhythmical rows of arched windows and a third story with rounded dormers set in diamond-patterned sheet metal. The county courthouse occupied the second floor for several years before the present courthouse was completed. In 1950 Winfield Morton of Dallas, Texas, bought the hotel for $60,000 and spent $369,000 to convert its fifty-six rooms and three bathrooms into forty-two rooms with baths. Resplendent with Victorian fixtures, it is now a forty-room hotel with first-floor lobby, shops, dining rooms, and a splendid saloon whose cherry back bar has diamond dust mirrors set in three ornate arches springing from Corinthian capitals. Saloon hall commotion is quieted somewhat by new pressed metal ceilings from the venerable W. T. Norman Sheet Metal Manufacturing Company of Missouri. These shiny ceilings brighten the common rooms with reflected light and reflect sound down and away from upstairs sleeping rooms.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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