Hotel DeSoto -- Hotel De Soto Savannah Ga.
Made in U.S.A. by E. C. Kropp Co. Milwaukee Wis.
Postmarked Oct 11, 1937
Savannah (Ga.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Architecture -- Georgia -- Savannah.
Hotels -- Georgia -- Savannah.
Historic buildings -- Georgia -- Savannah -- Pictorial works.
Preston, William Gibbons, 1842-1910.
Color postcard of the Hotel De Soto with radio station WTOC call letters on the roof, with white border and divided back, postmarked October 11, 1937. Caption from back of card: "Hotel De Soto, Savannah Ga. Fireproof J. B. Pound, Pres., Chas. G. Day, V. P. & Mgr. European Plan, Open All Year, Superbly located--covers entire city block. Offering splendid auto parking facilities--8900 square feet of porch space. Air conditioned tavern, Dancing Nightly (except Sunday.)"
In the 1880’s, Savannah was an important stop in Florida’s burgeoning tourist trade. A railroad to Tybee Island was opened in 1887 with the idea of promoting the beach and Tybee as a resort area. Rail and steamship lines were well in place between Savannah and points north and south. It was hoped that Savannah would become a destination rather than a stopover. A major luxury hotel was the element missing that would draw people to stay in the city. Construction on the Hotel DeSoto began in 1888. It was a Richardsonian Romanesque style building designed by Boston architect William Gibbons Preston. The hotel building took up an entire city block and was constructed of terra cotta, brick, and shingle. Part of the hotel was five stories and the rest was six stories. It had 206 rooms and also housed solariums, a barbershop, drug store, lunchrooms, coffee shops, and a restaurant. There were separate entrances for ladies and gentlemen and large piazzas with rocking chairs. The many brochures in the collection boast of a swimming pool, 18 hole miniature golf course and proximity to tourist attractions, hunting, and fishing.
In 1923, Jerome Pound, who also owned the Hotel Savannah, purchased the Hotel De Soto. Over many years, he spent nearly one million dollars renovating the building. He added air conditioning, the tiled swimming pool, and the gardens. He states that throughout the modernization, he was ever mindful of the historic beauty and the significance to the community of the hotel. Murals were added to the north and south walls of the lounge. The first mural depicted Fort Pulaski and the second, the founding of Savannah by Oglethorpe. He placed Charles Day, who had worked for him since 1913, at the DeSoto as manager.
The publisher of the postcard was E. C. Kropp, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They published chromolithographic cards and, later, linen cards with a fine grain, between 1907 through 1956.
12688 appears on back of card above the address side.
Scholars wishing to cite this item should include item title, Savannah Postcard Collection, MS 016, Jen Library Archives and Special Collections, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and the item's url.
3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches
MS 016 Savannah Postcard Collection, Jen Library Archives and Special Collections, the Savannah College of Art and Design.
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