This ad, from the 1880 City Directory, features the Remy Hotel, once located on the southwest quadrant of the Circle in downtown Indianapolis. The hotel was built in 1875 by Allison C. Remy, who went on to be Marion County Commissioner from 1976 – 1879.
Remy sold the hotel in 1879 to Edwin Egnew, who refurbished the facade and renamed it the Brunswick Hotel, opening in May 1880. At some point thereafter, brothers J.H. and W. Swart purchased the hotel. In 1890 or 91, J.M. South became the proprietor of the Brunswick Hotel.
The hotel was described as:
“a substantial four story brick structure with based and 75 x 100 feet in dimensions. On the first floor is situated a handsomely furnished and conveniently arranged office, a commodious dining room with a seating capacity for 100 guests, reading and writing rooms and billiard parlors, check and baggage rooms. On the second floor are elegantly furnished parlors, receptions rooms and apartments en suite, while the entire third and fourth floors are occupied for guest chambers, all en suite. The basement floor is used for barber shop and bath rooms, gentlemen’s wash room and closets and for the kitchen, culinary and laundry departments, the entire building being used exclusively for hotel purposes.”
Source: “Manufacturing and Mercantile Resources of Indianapolis, Indiana” (1883)
The next time you find yourself on Monument Circle, look up near the Emmis Building and think about the tourists who might have looked out at you over a hundred years ago!
Must follow this “Circle” blog…
While researching this week’s HI Mailbag question about the Canary Cottage Restaurant, I discovered some information that pertains to your Sunday Adverts subject. I thought you might be interested to know . . . “the rest of the story.” I always love it when random or seemingly unconnected pieces of the city’s historic jigsaw puzzle fall into place.
So, I read in a document provided to me by Emmis Communications that the portion of Emmis Plaza that was owned by the H. P. Wasson Company was before that the Morton Hotel. I had never heard of the Morton Hotel, and a Google search turned up nothing. So I resorted to my old standbys of Sanborn maps and city directories.
After a little searching, I discovered that the Morton Hotel was actually called the Hotel Morton. Before that, it was the Plaza Hotel, and before that, the Brunswick Hotel, and before that, the Remy Hotel.
Interestingly, the document Emmis gives out to people who ask about their property’s history is wrong on a few counts! First of all, it says that the Morton Hotel was built in 1890; as you know, the building was constructed about 1875. Second, it says that the place was called the Morton Hotel; however, it was always listed in city directories as the Hotel Morton (I looked at every single year!). Third, it refers to the Morton Hotel as if that was the building’s original name; in actuality, its original name was Remy Hotel — plus it had been Hotel Morton for only 13 of its 38 years when it was sold to Wasson’s.
Big companies like Emmis Communications ought to consult better researchers, when they need to write up the histories of their properties. 🙂
THANK YOU, Sharon, for your excellent research! Yes, major companies should hire more accurate researchers to do their corporate histories (at least they did try..with the rash of bank mergers over the last two decades, the real history of these banks seems to get “lost”….)