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Lost History Of Columbus: The Chittenden Hotel

Located on the corner of Spring and High, The Chittenden Hotel was actually a series of hotels built at the end of the 19th century.

The Chittenden was the passion project of Columbus businessman Henry Treat Chittenden. One of the most successful businessmen in Columbus at the time, Chittenden was known for his ownership of the Columbus Railway Company.

The First Hotel

In the late 1880s, Chittenden converted the Parker Building into the first Chittenden hotel, adding two floors to the five-story building. The hotel opened in 1889, but it was destroyed by a fire in 1890.

The Second Hotel

Ruins of the second Chittenden Hotel, after the fire of 11/24/1893. Photo via Columbus Library.

A more lavish version of the hotel was built in 1892, including the Henrietta Theatre next door on Spring St. In 1893, a fire swept through the entire block, causing over $300,000 in damages and destroying the second Chittenden Hotel.

The Third Hotel

They say “third time’s a charm” and that seemed to be true for the Chittenden Hotel. The third and final iteration of the hotel was built in 1895 and constructed with more fire-resistant materials including stone, steel, concrete, and brick.

Postcard via Columbus Library

The new version of the hotel was extravagant, with Moorish-inspired arches, towers, and eaves. Throughout the hotel, the influence of North African architecture was apparent. The dining room at the hotel had a stunning domed ceiling with potted palms dotted throughout.

The dining room at the Chittenden Hotel via Columbus Library.

The hotel remained in the Chittenden family long past Henry’s death in 1909. The hotel was eventually sold in 1950 before closing in 1972 and being demolished in 1973.

After the ashes

Now, the William Green Building towers over the city where the Chittenden Hotel once stood. The building is a 33-story skyscraper that was constructed between 1987 to 1990 and it’s one of the tallest buildings in the city.

The final Chittenden Hotel, via the Detroit Publishing Co. collection at the Library of Congress.

If you enjoy reading about the Lost History of Columbus, you can read about more of our demolished history at the links below.

Lost History Of Columbus: The Christopher Inn

Lost History Of Columbus: Union Station

Lost History Of Columbus: The Armory And Gymnasium At The Ohio State University