Question from last week: What hotel on Front Street incorporated Fogel’s Department Store, built in 1932?
Hotels and boarding houses have long been located on Front Street and around the town. Advertisements in Georgetown newspapers as well as articles concerning fires have identified many. In the 1850’s Mrs. Lester had a boarding house at the corner of Broad and Bay (Front), later becoming Mrs. Sessions Hotel. The Prince George Hotel, Gladstone Hotel, Tourist Hotel near Fraser Street at the railroad tracks in the 20th century as well as boarding houses all offered lodging. With the recent announcement of the building of a new hotel on Front Street, this story from the September 9, 1932 issue of the Georgetown Times shows a similar need for a hotel in the main business district.
“For years there has been prevalent among the citizens of Georgetown a desire for a modern and up-to-date hotel. With the burning of the old opera house it was evident that an opportunity had presented itself in the replacing of this building to formulate a plan to give our city the much needed hotel. Mr. James Raftelis prevailed upon Mr. and Mrs. Fogel to build such a building. A former Georgetown boy, F. Arthur Hazard, was selected by Mr. Fogel to design this new structure and work was started just as quickly as plans and specifications could be drawn up.
While in the city Tuesday, Mr. Hazard was asked to describe the new building. Quoting Mr. Hazard, “It has been a source of much gratification to have been employed on the Fogel building as architect. In my opinion Georgetown will soon be given a small hotel of which it might justly feel proud. This building, which will also house the Fogel Department Store, will have twenty guest rooms with baths and each guest room has been provided with windows of ample size to assure sufficient ventilation. Each bath will have tiled floors in colors and we have selected patterns in two colors, there being eight colors in all. It is my idea to make one bath green and white, one black and white, one grey and white and one oatmeal and black, alternating. The bath fixtures are all of the latest and most improved type. A modern downfeed heating system of hot water type is being installed.
In the first floor of the building will be located a spacious lobby, a dining room, kitchen, serving room, public toilets, and Mr. Fogel’s store. The floor in the main dining room will be of terrazza in three colors done in modernistic design. The floors of the two open lobbies and the vestibule to Mr. Fogel’s store will likewise be of terrazza. The store fronts will be of polished aluminum placed in wood frames with plate glass sash and we will use black carrarra glass bulkheads.
Not long ago I made a trip with Mr. Raftelis and together we purchased the necessary furniture for the hotel. I can assure the public that Mr. Raftelis spared no expense to furnish this building in a most modern and tasteful manner and was most cooperative with me in my suggestions. It was during this trip that we selected the name for this hostelry, The Lafayette Hotel.
In my opinion Georgetown will soon have a small hotel second to none in the state. It is Mr. Raftelis’ intention to operate this house on a very high plane and he deserves to have the cooperation of every citizen of Georgetown. Situated as it is this hotel should be a mecca for those desiring cool rooms, clean and comfortable beds and a sea food cuisine not to be surpassed anywhere in this section. In other words, Georgetown should boost this project and talk it to the outside world. Nothing will do more for Georgetown than this very hotel and the citizens should realize it and become sold on the idea.
Since designing this structure the thought of a roof garden over Mr. Fogel’s store has been suggested. This was not contemplated at first but I hope to be able to get the owners to add this feature if we find from our engineering calculations that we can carry the impact from dancing.
Mr. Fogel’s store will occupy one half of the first floor space and will be one of the best stores in this part of the state. The show windows will be done in modernistic style and will permit the display of a most attractive line of merchandise.
Both Mr. Fogel and Mr. Raftelis have been most cooperative on this work and it has been a pleasure indeed to me to have worked on the project. Their every aim has been to give their best to the most urgent need of Georgetown.
I understand from Mr. Thomson, the genial and capable construction superintendent on the work that he will get Mr. Fogel’s store ready for occupancy by October 1st, and the hotel portion of the building by November 1st. The notices of the formal openings of both of the sections of this building will be announced in the papers at an early date. The public will be invited and requested to make a thorough inspection of the building.
I am very happy to state that we are able to use a great portion of local workmen on this project. The plumbing and heating is being done by Mr. Tom Daggett, the electrical work by Sidney Fraser, the Mason’s work by W. A. Pawley.”
By becoming a member of the Georgetown County Historical Society, you will help maintain the Museum and support the continuation of these articles. Call us to have a membership form mailed to you, go to our website to download one (www.georgetowncountymuseum.com), or come by the Museum. The Georgetown County Museum is located at 120 Broad Street, right around the corner from Front Street. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 to 4:00 and on Saturday from 11:00 to 3:00. Admission is FREE and donations are gratefully accepted.
Go to our Facebook page: “Georgetown County Museum History Center” to answer the question for next week: Who really owned the land upon which Georgetown was founded?