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Non-Smoking Rooms: 1909

Toledo circa 1909. "Hotel Secor, Jefferson Avenue and Superior Street." At exactly 2:37. Seen here earlier a minute later, at 2:38. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. View full size.

Toledo circa 1909. "Hotel Secor, Jefferson Avenue and Superior Street." At exactly 2:37. Seen here earlier a minute later, at 2:38. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. View full size.


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The building wouldn't burn

But the insides of buildings could and did burn. Sometimes with horrific loss of life, because "fireproof" was an excuse to skimp on exit stairs, fire escapes and sprinkler systems.

Brave Claims

This must have been the era of brave claims, of dubious provability.
Fire Proof is boldly stated on the rooftop. At around the same time a large ship was being planned that would make a claim to be 'Unsinkable'.

Buckeye Brewing

The second oldest business in Toledo, The Buckeye Brewing Company began operations in 1838 near Front and Consaul Streets on the city's east side. Buckeye was founded just one year after the city of Toledo itself, and was one of the oldest breweries in American history. During Prohibition, Buckeye switched its production to bottling soft drinks like ginger ale, root beer and cider, as well as utilising its cold storage facilities.

Three engines

In the basement plan, I see three engines in the engine room. What would they need three engines for? I imagine this hotel generated its own electricity.

[You imagine correctly -- details of the Secor's power plant are here. - Dave]

Floor Plans

Thank you Doug Floor Plan for the building plans from The Brickbuilder! I love looking at these things, and I see that the basement extended out under the sidewalk quite a way (right side and bottom), and the the entire bakery was out there. I also see an "Oyster Pantry" and wonder what that was, if it was for shucking oysters, or does "oyster" refer to something else? I also see the the room plans are unusual in that every room has at least a toilet and sink, but only every other room received a bathtub! Nobody left dirty, however, there is a lonely bathtub at the end of the right corridor for everybody else!

Answering my own question

I wondered if the photos of the Hotel Secor in The Brickbuilder were taken on the same day as the photos Dave posted. The answer is no. There are no canvas awnings on the ground and third-floor windows in The Brickbuilder.

Menu prices are in cents

The new Hotel Secor was featured in the May 1909 issue of The Brickbuilder. Below is the original floorplan and four photographs of main areas on the first floor. By 1919 the Secor was managed by brothers L. C. and A. L Wallick, who had managed the Hotel Wallick in New York City since 1910, formerly the Cadillac Hotel. Apparently, they used the same menu for both hotels. The 1919 prices are in cents. I also found documentation several wealthy Toledo families, like the Libbey glass family, maintained suites at the Secor after they sold their homes for one reason or another. Click to embiggen.

Secor to none

... until it got a new neighbor; and then of a sudden it became second to that. Other items of note in the past 11 years:
-- It's still there.
-- as is the building two blocks down
-- In the blocks between them, the spot occupied by the towered building - it was Milner's Dept Store in 1909, later Sears - saw the Hotel SeaGate disappear (if the SeaGate helped put older Toledan hotels out of business, it looks like they had the last laugh)
-- The Toledo Blade is not only still around, it now controls the Pittsburgh Post Gazette as well (Watch out Cleveland: you're surrounded!)

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