Under 50? You Probably Don’t Know What Augusta Building Was Here
If you are under the age of 50 (actually, more like under the age of 60), you probably would not remember the impressive building that used to sit near Augusta’s West side traffic circle.
According to the Augusta, Maine – A Capital Happening Facebook group, from the early 1830s until it was torn down in 1974, the plot of land that is now taken up by the PretiFlaherty building was the site of the Augusta House Hotel.
The hotel opened on December 31st of 1831, just in time to be used by the first group of lawmakers to meet at the new state capital - newly relocated from Portland to Augusta. In fact, until the state began to regularly plow the roads (about 1916), many legislators lived at the hotel for the duration of each session.
When it first opened, the hotel only had three floors, but had six massive chimneys. Back then, each room had its own fireplace. Not because they wanted to promote romance among their guests, either. Fireplaces were the only method of heating the hotel had.
Over the course of its nearly 150 year history, the hotel was renovated and expanded several times. By the time the hotel closed, and was demolished, it was six stories tall and had about 200 rooms.
In addition to being a hub for Maine politics, it was the home to thousands of banquets, receptions, conventions, dances, and other social functions.
In 1902, the hotel even hosted US President Teddy Roosevelt. He reportedly gave a fiery speech from one of the hotel’s balcony’s.
In 1932, the hotel became home to WRDO, Augusta’s first radio station. Later, that radio station would go on to host an interview lunch series. Important people and celebrities of the day would stop by for lunch at the Augusta House Hotel and be interviewed at the same time. Below are photos of some of the autographs of celebrities that stayed at the hotel. How many names can you make out? The only one that sticks out to us is President Richard Nixon.
Sadly, the hotel closed in 1973, everything was auctioned off, and the building was demolished. It was replaced by a bank building.
Pictures Of Augusta House Hotel
If you have any pictures (or videos) of the building, feel free to share them with us.
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