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Hotel Rueger: 1913

1913. Richmond, Virginia. "Hotel Rueger -- Bank and Ninth Streets." Now the Commonwealth Hotel. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

1913. Richmond, Virginia. "Hotel Rueger -- Bank and Ninth Streets." Now the Commonwealth Hotel. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

My guess is

It's a 1908 or 1909 Pope-Hartford Touring

3-star then and now

The Commonwealth is a 3-star hotel. It has aged well. Judging by writeups in a 1914 edition of The Bankers Magazine and the 1920 Official Hotel Red Book and Directory, it began as a 3-star hotel. And, as advertised, it has proven to be fireproof.

GlenJay is correct -- Southern comfort food is not healthy; but mmmmmm ... it is some kind of good. Tofu fried chicken is never gonna give me comfort.

As it looks now

As “the Commonwealth”

Deja Vu

I’m pretty sure my father took me and my brothers there on a business trip in the late '60s. Wow! Just the sight of this brought that back to me.

He worked for the C&O Railroad. We went to a record store and were able to listen to records via headphones. That was a first. We bought a Ten Years After record.
Thank you for all the pictures that you post!


Are the architectural balcony-like features in the center of the even floors just decorative or are they actually used for something? Perhaps for bunting to go along with the flagpoles on alternate floors? They appear too narrow to use as balconies (unless one is singing "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina.") They are nice touches to the building -- does anyone do that sort of thing anymore?

[Ask Juliet. - Dave]

Twists of history

It started in 1846 as Louis Rueger’s saloon. Across from the Virginia (and Confederate) Capitol, his place was requisitioned during the Civil War by the Confederate Navy, and Rueger returned to his native Germany. He came back to find ashes, rebuilt, and his place became known as the Lafayette Saloon because it was near the Lafayette Artillery Armory.

The Ruegers (now three generations) added boarding to their saloon, and in 1901 opened a three-story hotel bearing the family name. In 1912, grandson William Rueger built the ten-story building in the photo. In the 1950s new owners changed the name to Hotel Raleigh. In the 1980s a developer remodeled and called it Commonwealth Park Suites. Since 2004 it has been just The Commonwealth.

But the Rueger name has been revived for Rueger’s at the Commonwealth, offering what sounds impossible: “Southern comfort food with a healthy and modern twist.”

(Apostrophilic Shorpyites will note that the 1912 hotel sign lost its apostrophe; it’s not clear why.)

[Apostrophes on vertical signage are problematic for what I would think are obvious reasons. - Dave]

Well, I intended a joke, getting both its and it's next to 'apostrophe'.
Nevertheless, problematic situations can be overcome: see below.

Movin' on up

Richmonders of 1913 were already playing a game of "Remember when?"
as what is pictured here had just opened, replacing an earlier version

Not sure how many buildings over the centuries have occupied what must have been a choice corner - it's right across from the Capitol - but the present occupant looks like it will be around a while: it's currently the Commonwealth Suites Hotel.

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