When I was a kid, there was a store that sold jewelry, blown glass and porcelain animals and silk flowers. I used to stare for hours and save my money to buy some of my favorite things here. I bought a silk rose that looked so real. I had no idea there had ever been a hotel. It didn’t even have a third floor.
The Aethelwold Hotel was built in 1900. It was once a grand hotel, with rooms for up to 100 guests. A room with a bath cost $1.50. John D. Rockefeller and President William Howard Taft stayed here. Their signatures are in the guest register.
The hotel closed in 1950, long before our family moved to Brevard.
In 1993, Tim Hall purchased the building and and began restoring it. Working with Domokur Architects, he put back the stone arches and column on the street entrance. He rebuilt the third floor, replicating the original Mansard roofline. He found the lobby’s stairway railings discarded in another part of the building. Now the Aethelwold Hotel is office space and residential condos.
“When Tim Hall purchased the historic Aethelwold building in downtown Brevard more than 20 years ago, what had once been called the city’s ‘crown jewel’ was far past its glory days and in danger of being demolished because of a lack of maintenance.
“However, when Hall looked at the building, he didn’t see a dilapidated former hotel – all he saw was potential.
“The streets may be in slightly better condition, and the primary mode of transportation may no longer be bicycles, but with all restorations complete, the Aethelwold building in downtown Brevard looks nearly identical to how it did when compared to this historic photo. “
Transylvania Times April 14, 2014
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