The Park Place Hotel soars nine stories with a tower on the tenth floor to take advantage of the view of Grand Traverse Bay and surrounding hills. A beacon atop the tower beamed a light forty miles into the distance. Bedford limestone trims the exterior walls of gray brick.
In 1928, Richard Floyd Clinch, then vice president of the Traverse State Bank and Hannah, Lay and Company, announced the upcoming construction of an ultramodern fireproof hotel to be financed by Hannah and Lay Company. A merchant and financier prominent in Chicago, with offices in the Rookery, Clinch served as president of the Chicago Auditorium Association and vice president and director of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad.
Marshall of Chicago designed the hotel. Noted for his large and modern hotel designs in Chicago, Marshall was famous for the Drake Hotel of 1919 and the Edgewater Beach Hotel of 1921. Marshall associated with Charles E. Fox in the firm of Marshall and Fox from 1905 until Fox's death in 1926. A three-story, wooden-bracketed Italianate hotel, built in 1873 by Henry D. Campbell and acquired by Perry Hannah and A. Tracy Lay 1878, was demolished in 1929 to make way for the current building. The new hotel had ninety-one sleeping rooms fitted with Early American furnishings from Carson, Pirie and Scott. The first-floor lobby's pine-paneled walls in “the American spirit” set the tone for the hotel. Park Place Hotel's building, furnishings, equipment, and organization made it the finest and most popular in northern Michigan.
In 1963 Eugene Power bought and refurbished the hotel. It reopened as the Park Place Motor Inn. The dome was added in 1976 for Cherry County Playhouse, which ran a summer theater from then until 1991. In 1989 Traverse City's Rotary Charities purchased the hotel from federal bankruptcy court, rehabilitated and refurnished it, and sold it to Milestone Investments Inn and Regency Inns Management. The hotel remains an essential ingredient in the vitality of downtown Traverse City.