The Marion Hotel, 110 NW 10, is back in the news.
At 108 years old, she started life in 1904, three years before statehood.
A short biography of early day architect Edward Coady, printed Nov. 11, 1904, in The Oklahoman, mentioned his latest building:
“His latest work in Oklahoma City is the handsome Marion flats recently constructed for J.C. Hughes, cashier of the Commercial National bank in this city. There is an originality about Mr. Coady's designs that creates a demand for his services.”
In 1909, N.N. Gatlin leased the Marion flats for three years, and on May 23, The Oklahoman announced his plans for the building:
“For several weeks workmen have been busy overhauling and refurnishing the forty odd rooms for hotel purposes, and ‘The Marion' will open today as a first class European Hotel, catering to the best and highest-class trade. The basement has been enlarged and remodeled and a cafe in keeping with the other appointments will be put in. The woodwork throughout the house has been painted a dark mahogany, and the wall papers and ceiling decorations are a reflection of the good taste and discrimination of Mr. and Mrs. Gatlin.
“The house has been beautifully furnished throughout, new Brussels and Axminsters on the floors; the furniture in each room being different, some of it of weathered oak, some bird's-eye maple and still other rooms are furnished in mahogany. All the beds are of brass and the linen is of the finest and the best. So, if we can judge anything from the good taste evidenced to the furnishings and fittings of this beautiful home; and if the experience and personality of Mr. and Mrs. Gatlin count for anything, we are free to make the prediction that ‘The Marion' will soon earn the right to be called Oklahoma City's most popular as well as most elegant European hotel.”
To look at The Marion today is to see that she has fallen on hard times. Vacant for a quarter of a century and with its windows boarded up, it stands as an example of extreme perseverance. Where other vintage buildings have been demolished to make way for new buildings or parking lots, the many owners of The Marion have recognized the “originality” of Edward Coady's design and kept it from destruction.
An announcement was made in mid-July, proposing $3 million in loans to the Midtown Renaissance Group to build a much-needed area parking garage on the lot next to The Marion. Some of the funds also would be used to finish renovations on a car dealership across the street and the old hotel.
Maybe in a couple of years, The Marion again will be the place to stay in Oklahoma City.
Read The Archivist online at blog.newsok.com/archivist.